Epidemiology and etiology: An overview

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Epilepsy is common, with an estimated lifetime incidence of 3%. Regardless of etiology, epilepsy is associated with increased mortality, particularly among those with poorly controlled seizures. Furthermore, recent research indicates that 44% of patients have poorly controlled seizures despite treatment. The epilepsies also have far-reaching burdens including an annual cost of $12.5 billion in the United States, and social and professional challenges for patients requiring a comprehensive treatment approach. One current controversy surrounding epilepsy are proposed changes to the International League Against Epilepsy diagnostic guidelines advocating lessened dependence on electroencephalogram findings and lessened use of loss of consciousness in order to classify epilepsy and seizure types. Another emerging issue is the importance of choice of agent and timing of treatment initiation for newly presenting seizure cases. The potential difficulties in changing a drug regimen at a later date along with specific needs of special populations such as the elderly, pregnant women, and those with comorbid conditions or the potential for drug interactions must be taken into account.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S57-S62
JournalAdvanced Studies in Medicine
Issue number1 B
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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