Medical Risks in Epilepsy

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S. I. Johannessen
Wrightson Biomedical Pub., 2001 - Medical - 146 pages
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It is perhaps self-evident that people who suffer sudden loss or impairment of consciousness are at greater risk of accident or injury than the general population and that patients who have uncontrolled seizures are at greater risk than those with good seizure control. It may be less obvious that people with epilepsy also have a greater than average risk of suicide, an increased mortality rate, and vulnerability to fatal and other adverse reactions to antiepileptic drugs particularly in polytherapy. In fact, people with epilepsy have a mortality rate two to three times that of the general population.
Identification of the medical risks in epilepsy and assessment of the magnitude of risk are important in order to reduce risk and to evaluate the risk-to-benefit ratios of prospective treatments.
While most epileptologists encourage their patients to lead normal lives, the risks associated with seizures cannot be ignored and these together with social stigmatization can result in limitation of daily activities. Practical guidance is given here for lifestyle adjustments and techniques that will help to minimize risk, particularly of accident or injury, while sustaining independence and good quality of life. Topics relating to everyday life include risk of traffic accidents, seizure warning systems and personal insurance.
Edited by a very experienced, influential, group of Nordic epileptologists, this is the latest in our successful series of epilepsy titles. It explores an important and difficult area, describes the findings of the most recent research and provides practical guidance for clinicians.

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Accidents and Injuries in Patients with Epilepsy
Mortality in People with Epilepsy
Psychiatric Comorbidity in Epilepsy

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About the author (2001)

Svein I. Johannessen is Director of Research at the National Center for Epilepsy, Sandvika, Norway, Torbjorn Tomson is a Consultant Neurologist at the Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. Matti Sillanpaa is Professor of Paediatric Neurology at the University of Turku, Finland. Birthe Pedersen is a Consultant Neurologist in Aalborg, Denmark.

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