SUDEP: Untangling the Causes
Earlier this month, 20-year-old Disney star Cameron Boyce died suddenly from what was most likely sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, or SUDEP. In this rare complication from epilepsy, a patient who is otherwise healthy dies during or following a seizure, and postmortem examination reveals no structural or toxicological cause for death. Boyce’s family confirmed he had epilepsy.
SUDEP occurs in about 1-2 per 1,000 patients with chronic epilepsy and 3-9 per 1,000 in those with severe, refractory seizures, though its frequency is difficult to calculate. It is most common in patients 20 to 40 years old.
“SUDEP is difficult to detect; it is often unobserved when it happens and autopsy doesn’t reveal any changes,” said William Nobis, M.D., an instructor in the Department of Neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “No definitive cause has been discovered, but we believe that respiratory dysfunction leads to cardiac abnormalities and arrest.”
Kranzler Chicago Review Course in Neurosurgery
Jan. 24-31, 2020; Chicago
46th Annual Richard Lende Winter Neurosurgery Conference
Jan. 31-Feb. 3, 2020; Snowbird, Utah
Third Annual Cedars Sinai Intracranial Hypotension Symposium
Feb. 8, 2020; Los Angeles
2020 Managing Coding and Reimbursement Challenges
Feb. 14-16, 2020; Las Vegas
13th Annual International Symposium on Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy and Stereotactic Radiosurgery
Feb. 21-23, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Fla.