Study supports overnight seizures as key factor in SUDEP

Posted Sep 22 2015 in Conditions related to epilepsy

A new study has indicated that unwitnessed overnight seizures may be a key factor in cases of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). This supports the findings of previous investigations.

Led by the Mater Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, the research aimed to to review population autopsy data on epilepsy-related deaths in Queensland to explore factors associated with autopsy-confirmed sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).

A total of 175 epilepsy-related deaths were identified from autopsy records, with factors associated with SUDEP including male gender and a use of antiepileptic drugs that did not deliver therapeutic benefit.

According to findings published in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, the majority of deaths happened in the person’s usual residence, and were overnight and unwitnessed, with the person found prone in or adjacent to their bed with signs of a seizure.

It was also shown that a complete autopsy was undertaken for only 59 per cent of cases, with the majority of these being in urban locations.

At present, it is estimated that SUDEP happens to one in every 1,000 people with epilepsy, but it is currently impossible to predict who will be affected by the condition.

Posted by Bob Jones

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