Wednesday, 26 April 2017

New AAN-AES guidelines on sudden unexpected death in epilepsy

New AAN-AES guidelines on sudden unexpected death in epilepsy The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the American Epilepsy Society (AES) have jointly developed a new guideline on SUDEP or sudden unexpected death in epilepsy. SUDEP is the term used when a patient with epilepsy, who is otherwise healthy, dies suddenly without any known cause. • SUDEP is rare in children, affecting just one in 4,500 children every year. It is also uncommon in adults, typically affecting one in 1,000 adults every year. • Generalized tonic-clonic seizures are a major risk factor for SUDEP. • SUDEP is more likely in patient with frequent generalized tonic-clonic seizures. People with ≥ 3 episodes of generalized tonic-clonic seizures in a year are 15 times more likely to die suddenly vs people who have ≤ 3 generalized tonic-clonic seizures per year. • The guidelines stress on education about the condition for both physicians and patients with epilepsy. Patients should be informed that controlling seizures, especially tonic-clonic seizures, may reduce the risk of SUDEP. They should be encouraged to take their medications on time, not miss a dose and to learn and manage their seizure triggers to reduce frequency of seizures. • The guideline shows that being free of seizures, particularly tonic-clonic seizures, is strongly associated with a decreased risk of SUDEP. These guidelines were presented at the ongoing 69th AAN Annual Meeting in Boston and simultaneously published online April 24, 2017 in the journal Neurology. (Source: AAN, Press Release, April 24, 2017) Dr KK Aggarwal National President IMA & HCFI

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