Navigation Links
NYU Langone expert calls for awareness, research of sudden death in patients with epilepsy

Over time, epileptic seizures can lead to major health issues, including significant cognitive decline and even death, warns Orrin Devinsky, MD, professor, Departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center. In a review article in the Nov. 10, 2011 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Devinsky addresses the magnitude of sudden, unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) and offers guidance to patients, physicians and families of those with epilepsy about the risk factors, possible causes and interventional measures.

"Although most people with epilepsy live full and productive lives, doctors may too readily assure patients that seizures will never hurt the brain and are never fatal," writes Devinsky. "If patients are aware that seizures can be deadly, they may be more motivated to adhere to antiepileptic drug regimens and avoid lifestyle choices that increase the likelihood of them."

According to the article, SUDEP usually occurs in chronic, severe cases of epilepsy. But it is estimated that 2.7 million Americans suffer from some form of epilepsy and, even under specialized care, 25 percent of these patients fail to achieve adequate control of their seizures, making therapies less effective and requiring more intensive and comprehensive care than is available through a regular neurologist.

According to Devinsky, the rate of SUDEP increases with the duration and severity of epilepsy. While the exact mechanisms are not known, Devinsky identifies several risk factors associated with known cases of SUDEP, which includes a high prevalence of seizure just prior to an event, an impaired respiratory condition, slowing or shutting down of cerebral functions and cardiac events.

Devinsky points to a long-term cohort study conducted in Finland of 245 patients diagnosed with epilepsy as children which found that SUDEP may have been responsible for 38 percent of the 60 deaths that occurred over the 40 year span. The overall incidence of SUDEP is likely underestimated, adds Devinsky, because of incomplete databases and the fact that the cause may not be appropriately identified by coroners, medical examiners and physicians who are unaware of the diagnostic criteria for SUDEP. A reduction in sudden deaths among patients with epilepsy may be achieved through:

  • Increased awareness by the general public and medical community
  • Improved prevention and treatments of epilepsy
  • Further development and use of devices that detect seizures and can alert caretakers
  • Improved understanding of the mechanisms of SUDEP
  • Conducting interventional trials to prevent the progression of life-threatening seizure to sudden death

Contact: Craig Andrews
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine

Related medicine news :

1. NYU Langone rheumatologists share insight with online RA community
2. NYU Langone Medical Center awarded $4.5 million for breast cancer research
3. NYU Langone Medical Center cardiologists present at ACC 60th Annual Scientific Session
4. NYU Langone offers new imaging technique to advance robotic surgery for patients
5. NYU Langone Department of Orthopaedic Surgery chosen to participate in joint replacement registry
6. NYU Langone Medical Center receives NIH Directors Transformative Research Projects award
7. NYU Langone scientists find key pathway implicated in progression of childhood cancer
8. NYU Langone offers vascular-targeted photodynamic therapy for localized prostate cancer
9. Experts Debate Tylenols Safety for Asthmatic Kids
10. NSF-funded research fellowship program to focus on producing experts to aid people with disabilities
11. Experts challenge government on special needs reforms
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... An ... directory is specialized and only includes chiropractic clinics in the US. , The ... trustworthy alternative health practitioner when back pain sets in. When people are experiencing ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... In ... Halloween festivities, the Word of Life Christian Church of Flint, MI, hosted a ... a giant 1.25 ton pile of candy dubbed “Candy Mountain”. , A Forever ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... During ... fundraising campaign to raise funds for its research, education, support, and advocacy efforts. ... organization’s annual funding. , The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, which also goes by ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The ... in Dallas, TX, on January 29 and 30, 2016. The course welcomes dental ... of their practices, to learn how to better succeed in the modern dental ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... HemoTreat™ has announced that the ... ointment to its website. , “Our goal is simple:” says Michael Blasco, HemoTreat’s ... the comparison chart and ingredient list allows our customers to quickly see why, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO ) ... Free Press as a Top Workplace , among the ... work for in 2015. ... annually, based on employee surveys rating company leadership, career opportunities, ... based solely on employee feedback. The survey is conducted by ...
(Date:11/30/2015)...  IBA Molecular North America, Inc. (IBAMNA), a U.S. ... that as of January 1, 2016, it will do ... to rebrand the company reflects a refined vision for ... close relationship with Zevacor Molecular.  Both IBAMNA and Zevacor ... Peter Burke , Vice President Sales ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015 Baxalta Incorporated (NYSE: ... dedicated to delivering transformative therapies to patients ... today announced the launch and first shipments ... extended circulating half-life recombinant factor VIII (rFVIII) ... ADVATE [Antihemophilic Factor (Recombinant)]. The treatment was ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: