Clinical Topics

Veterans With PNES Have Lower QoL vs. Other Seizures

by U.S. Medicine

June 26, 2019

PORTLAND, OR—Do seizure disorders affect veterans differently than patients who have never been in the U.S. military? And does the type of seizure matter?

A study published in Epilepsy & Behavior examined those issues.1 

VA researchers from Portland, OR; Madison, WI; and San Francisco pointed out that health-related quality of life is affected in civilians with epileptic seizures or psychogenic nonepileptic seizures, adding, “U.S. veterans are a distinct patient group with regard to gender, age and background.”

The study team looked at HRQoL in a veteran cohort, seeking to answer the following questions:

  • Is there a difference in HRQoL in veterans with ES vs. PNES?
  • What factors influence HRQoL in each group?
  • What factors influenced the difference between seizure groups?

To determine the answers, the researchers looked at consecutive veterans entering the epilepsy-monitoring units of three VA Epilepsy Centers of Excellence. Patients underwent continuous video-EEG monitoring, and health-related quality of life was measured with the Quality of Life in Epilepsy Inventory-31 (QOLIE-31).

Evaluations included the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV, the Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL), the Beck Depression Inventory II and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 Restructured form. 

Results indicated that The median QOLIE-31 total score was 14 points lower in veterans with PNES vs. ES (p < 0.001; Cohen’s d = 0.73). “Within each seizure group, psychological factors accounted for ≥50% of the variance in QOLIE scores, while combined demographic, social and seizure-related factors accounted for 18% (group with ES) and 7% (PNES),” the researchers explained. “Psychological measures, particularly PCL and the BDI-II scores, accounted for all of the difference in QOLIE-31 total scores between Veterans with ES and those with PNES.”

The study authors concluded that health-related quality of life, as measured by the QOLIE-31, is worse in veterans with PNES as compared with those with ES. 

“Demographic, military, social and seizure-related factors have minimal influence on HRQoL. These results in U.S. veterans are similar to those found in civilians despite differences in patient age, gender, and background.”

Salinsky M, Rutecki P, Parko K, Goy E, Storzbach D, Markwardt S, Binder L, Joos S. Health-related quality of life in Veterans with epileptic and psychogenic nonepileptic seizures. Epilepsy Behav. 2019 Mar 17;94:72-77. doi:10.1016/j.yebeh.2019.02.010. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30893618.



Related Articles

Following Guidelines Reduced Mortality in Veterans at High Risk of Recurrent Stroke

Only 15.3% of Eligible Patients Received All Interventions INDIANAPOLIS—Meticulously following clinical guidelines in VA patients who suffered transient ischemic attack or nonsevere ischemic stroke reduced by nearly one-third their risk of death within a year,... View Article

Million Veteran Program Study Raises Questions about Omega-3 Benefits in CAD

BOSTON—Researchers at the Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology and Research Information Center demonstrated the value of the VA’s ability to harness the health data of thousands or even millions of individuals in a study that calls into... View Article


U.S. Medicine Recommends


More From neurology

Neurology

Following Guidelines Reduced Mortality in Veterans at High Risk of Recurrent Stroke

Only 15.3% of Eligible Patients Received All Interventions INDIANAPOLIS—Meticulously following clinical guidelines in VA patients who suffered transient ischemic attack or nonsevere ischemic stroke reduced by nearly one-third their risk of death within a year,... View Article

Neurology

Higher Efficacy DMTs Reduce MS Brain Atrophy

BETHESDA, MD—How do disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) affect region-specific brain atrophy in multiple sclerosis? A recent study sought to answer that question. Researchers from the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine, at The Henry M. Jackson... View Article

Alzheimer's/Dementia

TBI Might Not Be a Risk Factor for Alzheimer’s Disease

BOSTON—New research is calling into question whether traumatic brain injury is actually a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. A report in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia discussed recent research with neuropathologic or biomarker evidence of... View Article

Neurology

Physical Fitness Associated With Lower Parkinson’s Rates

While exercise is important physical therapy for Parkinson's disease, it might be more than that.

Neurology

Increasing Usage of SSRIs for Dementia Symptoms

Emerging data has suggested effectiveness for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for treatment of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.

Subscribe to U.S. Medicine Print Magazine

U.S. Medicine is mailed free each month to physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and administrators working for Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Public Health Service.

Subscribe Now

Receive Our Email Newsletter

Stay informed about federal medical news, clinical updates and reports on government topics for the federal healthcare professional.

Sign Up