Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Epilepsy and Primary ADHD: Differences in Symptom Dimensions and Quality of Life

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We aimed to (1) compare quality of life (QOL) among children with epilepsy, epilepsy and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and primary ADHD and (2) compare ADHD symptom dimensions and subtypes between children with epilepsy-ADHD and primary ADHD.


A total of 140 children; 53 with epilepsy, 35 with epilepsy-ADHD, and 52 with primary ADHD were included. KINDL-R (quality of life measure), Turgay DSM-IV Disruptive Behavior Disorders Rating Scale (T-DSM-IV-S), and Conners’ Parent Rating Scale (CPRS) were completed. Neurology clinic charts were reviewed for epilepsy-related variables.


Children with epilepsy-ADHD had the lowest (poorest) KINDL-R total scores. Epilepsy-ADHD group had more inattentiveness symptoms, whereas primary ADHD group had more hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms. The frequencies of ADHD combined and inattentiveness subtypes were 60% and 40% in children with epilepsy-ADHD and 80.7% and 19.3% in children with primary ADHD, respectively (P = .034).


ADHD in epilepsy is associated with a significantly poor quality of life and predominantly inattentiveness symptoms.

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