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Old 10-22-2006, 04:04 PM   #1
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seizures and bipolar disorder?

Does anyone know the correlation between bi polar disorder and left temporal lobe epilepsy? My daughter is bipolar (17 years old). Things have been horrible. She has attempted suicide and has lived a very sad life of depression and mood swings.

She had been complaining about her "tongue siffining up". She had an EEG and an ambulatory EEG and the test revealed that she may be suffering from "Partial seizures". I did a little research and found out that some bipolar patients in fact may have problems with the left temporal lobe. her neurologist said that she isn't surprised, since the left side of the brain is responsible for your moods and your behavior.

I have been dealing with her bipolar disorder for years, and now I am entering this new medical area that is so foreign to me. I am not even sure what left temporal lobe epilepsy is and I don't know what this means for her and if in fact, this may expalin her bipolar disorder.

By the way, she has complained about the hardning of her tongue only a few times and according to her it only lasts about 10 seconds.
Any info. would be greatly appreciated.

Laura

 
Old 10-23-2006, 06:36 AM   #2
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Re: seizures and bipolar disorder?

Hello Laura, boy I sure wish I had some answers for you, but I am still waiting for answers to my post which is quite similar to yours. My daughter will turn 17 in Feb. She has had mood swings for about 5 years now. She is very happy for a couple weeks or so then she seems to drift into an irritible state that increases with intesity over a couple days, then she's aggressive and emotional for a week. (The severity form month to month varies). Then she drifts back to being happy again. They thought she was bipolar, but have pretty much ruled that out because she never responded to any of the bipolar meds. A new psychiatrist suspects temporal lobe epilepsy which he claims has an impact on emotions that are similar to bipolar. Makes sense she could have temp lobe eplepsy because she already has a seizure disorder including tonic clonic seizures (grand mal) and myoclonic seizures. Does your daughter have any kind of seizure history? Our new psychiatrist has taken our daughter off her bipolar meds completely and she is now solely on tegretol (and lamictal for grand mals) to control the temp lobe epilepsy if it exists. We'll see over time. She has also been put on birth control to help regulate her periods and relieve any pms symptoms in case her mood swings could be hormone related. Have you explored this idea. We're just trying everything. I guess I should mention my daughter is mentally disabled so I can't describe any of her complaints for you because she's unable to communicate really. Perhaps we can keep each other informed with any helpful info we come up with. Hang in there, good luck and hope your daughter finds some relief very soon.

 
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:54 AM   #3
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Re: seizures and bipolar disorder?

I am new to this but I read that if epilepsy comes from the left temporal lobe the symptoms can be mistaken for schizophrenia whereas if it comes from the right temporal lobe it can be mistaken for bipolar since RTLE is more emotional/mood swings while LTLE can result in auditory and visual hallucinations. I had an EEg during one of my psy hospitalizations but neither it or an MRI showed abnormalities though a Cat scan showed a split of fibers in the right spheno squamous area above the inferior orbital fissure--which IS the temporal lobe. Its also odd that even though I was diagnosed as bipolar, Lithium , Thorazine, Risperdal etc didnt work, but Depakote and once Klonopin did. I am currently taking Depakote and Effexor. Also, I have sometimes had twitching spels though never full blown grand mal and I do remember these episodes. I also have trouble with manual dexterity and fine balance, ie cant roller skate or ride a bike, maybe this is all co-related in the brain. Corinna from Florida

 
Old 05-08-2008, 02:21 PM   #4
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Re: seizures and bipolar disorder?

hello ladies, Laura Im sorry to hear about your daughter's situation here's what i do know (i read a lot). My friend has bipolar disease and is taking epilepsy medications to control it reason being that it does have some correlation and BD can be confussed with epilepsy when really they are different. For one you need to have your daughter see a neurologist to have her do some epilepsy test like (EEG) to show wether there is or not some seizure activity. has she had any seizures ever in her life? Depression is faced by both illnesses so that cant really be used to distinguished, mood changes is also in both illnesses and so the only way to know for sure is by visiting the neuro, a BD person can still have one seizure due to mood changes or deppressions but not necessarily suffer from this illness. Once again make an appoinment to see a neurologist and he will clear all concerns you might have. Best of luck
Laura

Last edited by 030free; 05-08-2008 at 02:21 PM.

 
Old 05-08-2008, 02:36 PM   #5
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Re: seizures and bipolar disorder?

Thanks all for your reply. my daughter continues to complain about "her tongue stiffening". I did take her to a neurologist who said that she did see seizure activity and diagnosed her with TLE. She gave her lamictal. My daughter was once diagnosed as Bipolar and then as Boarderline, She is 19 now and not taking anything. She complains about the way she feels when she's on them. Her seizures are infrequent and becuase they only seem to affect her tongue and for only a few seconds, she doesn't take it seriously. Her moods however, and impulsivity are so out of control... I can't hardly write about it because it is too painful.
Thanks all for your support.
Laura

 
Old 05-08-2008, 08:38 PM   #6
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Re: seizures and bipolar disorder?

Laura the stiffening of the tounge can b a side effect of someone with LTE during her spells. If her meds are not working and obviously she's still complaining she needs to be placed on a different med (ask about Depokate) my friend with BD takes this one, its been working, plus she sees a spych and therapy groups once a week for the BD. If she has both problems, the neuro can use another medication that will help both instead of 2 meds. The BD and epilepsy as you now have a lot of similar symptoms and personal effects such as deppression, mood changes, anger and much more especially for females, but hopefully with the right meds the epilepsy will stay under control and she can focus on the therapy for the BD. I hope this can help you a little, I know is not easy dealing with epilepsy and much less with BD at the same time, but there is help and your not alone.
Laura

Last edited by 030free; 05-08-2008 at 08:39 PM.

 
Old 05-14-2008, 02:56 PM   #7
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Re: seizures and bipolar disorder?

What is the dividing line between a bipolar episode and an "emotional" seizure, ie how can one distinguish whether what has been (mis) diagnosed as bipolar is really TLE? the odd thing is that my EEG was normal but a cat scan showed a split of fibers in the right temporal lobe, also Depakote works while Lithium didnt. I really would appreciate a reply--my new psychiatrisat thinks it may be TLe, I also have problems w fine finger co-ordination and balance, ie cant ride a bike, roler skate and must always hang on to railing when going down stairs.

 
Old 05-15-2008, 09:47 AM   #8
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Re: seizures and bipolar disorder?

Hi Laura,

Just thought I'd chime in as I also have left temporal lobe epilepsy. Although I've had seizures on and off since my teens, I've only had TLE since last year, so this is kinda new for me. On occasion, I find that it also forces my tongue to push against my teeth, and all you can do it wait for it to pass. I am not bipolar but I was having mood swings prior to going on seizure medication. I find that the meds really do help level them out.

Please let her know that the frequency and severity of her seizures CAN (not necessarily WILL) get worse if she doesn't get these under control now. At the very least, she should be keeping a seizure diary of how often she is getting them.

Some medications really do make you feel doped up, but there are others that just take the edge off so you feel more even-keeled and balanced. It really is trial and error, and it's different for everyone. I don't know how many different meds your daughter has tried, but I hope she didn't give up after just trying only one.

With regards to impulsivity, raising teens is not easy. Having a child that is bipolar and refusing medication must be that much more difficult. Is there any way that you can convince her to speak with someone? Someone who can help her to see that medication can not only get her seizures under control, they can help with her depression and impulsivity, level out her mood swings, and ultimately, enable her to make better decisions in her life. She is a young lady now, this would be a show of responsibility on her part. Can her neurologist talk to her, or perhaps even a counselor? I hope things turn out well for her. Please post back if anything changes.

 
Old 05-15-2008, 07:40 PM   #9
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Re: seizures and bipolar disorder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmichal427 View Post
What is the dividing line between a bipolar episode and an "emotional" seizure, ie how can one distinguish whether what has been (mis) diagnosed as bipolar is really TLE? the odd thing is that my EEG was normal but a cat scan showed a split of fibers in the right temporal lobe, also Depakote works while Lithium didnt. I really would appreciate a reply--my new psychiatrisat thinks it may be TLe, I also have problems w fine finger co-ordination and balance, ie cant ride a bike, roler skate and must always hang on to railing when going down stairs.
As a previouly said my friend has BD and I had epilepsy, and the only difference was the actual attacks or spells the person gets. For example with seizures your having the actual attacks (seizures) aside from the onsets. With BD my friend only have mood sings, either too happy and active, or too deppressed and sad, mostly mental attcks, as for body attacks when you have a seizure. Once again it's a fine line due to the mental (emotional feelings and moods swings) but they are different. I agree in keeping a journal of every time the seizures occur and having both a neurologist do some seizure exams and a counselor for the BD can eventually find the solution to this problem. I think one medication wouldnt help both problems since meds like Depokate are used to treat both illnesses...

 
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