AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 2, 2017

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New Guideline Published on Uncommon Risk of Death in Epilepsy

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Seizure control may reduce risk

There is an uncommon risk of death that people with epilepsy and their loved ones may not know about. The risk is called sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, or SUDEP. Now the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the American Epilepsy Society have co-developed a new guideline on SUDEP. SUDEP is when someone with epilepsy who is otherwise healthy dies suddenly with no known cause. “It is important that the rate of occurrence of SUDEP and the specific risk factors for SUDEP are communicated to persons and families affected by epilepsy,” said guideline author Cynthia Harden, MD, of Mount Sinai Health System in New York, and a member of the AAN. “Our guideline brings clarity to the discussion, giving health care providers practical information they can use to help people with epilepsy reduce their risk.” 

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