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Medical News & Perspectives
January 27, 2010

Experts Describe “Spectrum” of Epilepsy

JAMA. 2010;303(4):313-314. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1977

Boston—As researchers continue to uncover complex relationships between epilepsy and a host of cognitive, behavioral, psychiatric, and other neurological disorders, they argue that epilepsy should be considered a spectrum disorder. Such a characterization could increase awareness and improve the treatment of this serious brain disorder, which affects 50 million people worldwide.

“Epilepsy is more than seizures. Seizures are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Frances Jensen, MD, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and director of epilepsy research at Children's Hospital in Boston. Patients' day-to-day problems with learning, memory, and mood are equally troubling, she noted.

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