The purpose of this paper is to discuss the challenges of assessment and management of psychotic symptoms in a background of intellectual disability (ID) and treatment-resistant epilepsy caused by a genetic syndrome.
Ring chromosome 20 [r(20)] syndrome is characterised by the triad of severe refractory epilepsy, mild to severe ID and behavioural problems. This paper describes the presentation of r(20) syndrome in a young woman with moderate ID and treatment-resistant epilepsy, who experiences psychotic symptoms at times of improved seizure control.
There are several diagnostic possibilities for such a presentation, including psychotic symptoms due to adverse effects of anti-epileptic medications and forced normalisation (alternating psychosis).
This paper advocates judicious use of antipsychotic medication to manage psychotic symptoms, as well as involvement of both patient and close family members throughout all stages of care. It is essential to strike a balance between control of epileptic seizures and psychiatric symptoms, providing an optimal benefit to the patients’ quality of life by meeting their complex needs through a multidisciplinary and multi-agency team input.
The authors thank the patient and her family who kindly gave permission for the publication of this case report.
Shelton, A., Tromans, S., Bhaumik, S. and Kiani, R. (2017), "Psychosis and epilepsy in ring chromosome 20 syndrome", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 8-16. https://doi.org/10.1108/AMHID-11-2016-0037Download as .RIS
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