PURPOSE: The present study examined clinical variables related to excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and sleep disorders in patients with epilepsy (PWE), with special focus on antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), to determine whether sleep-related problems in PWE are correlated with their involvement in traffic accidents.
METHOD: 325 PWE completed the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and 322 the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). 239 PWE with a valid driver’s license were requested to answer questions related to traffic accidents.
RESULTS: The presence of focal seizures with impaired awareness, age, and administration of lacosamide were each shown to have a significant impact on ESS score. Furthermore, administrations of valproate and lacosamide, as well as sleep-promoting agents other than AEDs (SPA) had a significant impact on the presence of sleep disorder diagnosed with the PQSI. In view of traffic accidents in total, age and LEV had an impact on traffic accident occurrence. In view of an accident in association with an epileptic seizure, SPA was the only variable with a significant impact. As for a traffic accident not related to epileptic seizure, no factors were found to have a significant impact on that dependent variable. No correlation was found between ESS score and any of those 3 traffic accident groupings, which was also true for PSQI.
CONCLUSIONS: Neither daytime sleepiness nor sleep disorder was found to be correlated with traffic accidents by people with epilepsy who drove. Furthermore, no antiepileptic drug was shown to be correlated with daytime sleepiness or increased risk of a traffic accident.