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Epilepsy Case Definition Revised — Physician’s First Watch
Epilepsy Case Definition Revised
By Amy Orciari Herman
The International League Against Epilepsy has updated the clinical definition of epilepsy, bringing the term "in concordance with common use," according to an Epilepsia article.
In 2005, the condition was defined as two unprovoked seizures occurring more than 24 hours apart. Now, the definition includes two additional circumstances in which epilepsy may be diagnosed:
one unprovoked seizure plus a 60% or higher likelihood of additional seizures in the next 10 years (for example, a patient who experiences a single seizure a month after having a stroke has a 60% or higher risk)
presence of an epilepsy syndrome
In addition, epilepsy may now be considered resolved if a patient has outgrown an age-dependent epilepsy syndrome or has gone 10 years without a seizure and has been off antiepileptic medications for 5 years. Previous definitions did not allow for epilepsy's resolution.