Epilepsy is a complex and multifactorial pathology, affecting about 50 million people worldwide, and about half of patients newly diagnosed with epilepsy are children. Epilepsy does not affect only health but every aspect of daily life, causing ?psychological or social distress, for both patients and their children with epilepsy do not dissipate with age and might contribute to the poor vocational and social outcome of these patients, as well as high rate of psychopathology and a poor quality of life at adulthood. Therefore, in addition to the need for an early identification of children at risk for psychiatric diagnoses, treatment of their psychopathology has clinical and humane importance and should be provided shortly after diagnosis is established. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has proven efficacy in reducing anxiety, social and specific phobias in children with epilepsy. Our objective is to test whether a holistic approach, providing to the children a better control over their activity, can by itself improve their quality of life and that of their parents, and their cognitive skills. This has been motivated by data obtained in animals demonstrating that the severe anxiety and cognitive disorders that develop with epilepsy are dramatically reduced when animals are raised in an enriched environment, combining novelty and complex inanimate and social stimulations. In this presentation will be presented the design of the first study aimed at testing the efficacy of an add-on holistic approach in reducing the severity of anxiety, poor self-esteem and cognitive skills in children with epilepsy aged from 8 to 12.
Laurent BEZIN, CRNL/Tiger