Researchers at Columbia University in New York have conducted research which shows an association between stress and an increase in recurrent seizures in adults.  Recognising that there is a limited amount of research on the relationship between epilepsy and stressors, depression and anxiety disorders the researchers wanted to see if such a link existed.The researchers recruited patients from a low income community in New York who had either newly diagnosed epilepsy or a single unprovoked seizure.  The researchers then collected information about a number of measures of stress including environmental stress, stressful life events, psychiatric disorders and the cumulative effect of adapting to stress.The 81 patients were then monitored for 2 years.  Almost 40% of those patients who had had an unprovoked seizure (52 patients in this group) had a further recurrence.  In the newly diagnosed epilepsy patients (29 patients in this group) almost 70% had a recurrence.In all patients, the risk of recurrence was increased 3 fold for those with lifetime generalised anxiety disorder and 2 fold for those with lifetime mood disorder.While a small study the researchers state that in addition to other treatment, the use of low cost stress reducing interventions such as mindfulness may be a useful addition for individuals with recognised stress disorders.