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Epilepsy Case Definition Revised — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
April 15, 2014

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.

Reader Comments (1)

Susan McDermott Other, Other, Epilepsy Leader

I am an Advocate representing those with the epilepsy condition in Australia. My goal is to build social understanding and negate the stigma which I have also experienced, yet overcome with my successful professional career. Linking with your papers will help me to build awareness which is needed here socially as well as professionally.

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