Author Affiliations: Department of Neurology and Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas.
Contempo Updates Section Editor: Janet M.
Torpy, MD, Fishbein Fellow.
Epilepsy is a common disabling illness. The worldwide prevalence is
in the range of 0.5% to 0.9% as assessed by studies in Europe, North and South
America, Asia, and Africa.1 Although most patients
with epilepsy lead an independent and full life, up to 30% report moderate
to marked limitations. They have a high rate of unemployment and underemployment,2 which results in high economic and social costs to
patients, their families, and the community at large. The last decade of the
20th century, proclaimed the Decade of the Brain, witnessed remarkable advances
on many fronts related to understanding the pathophysiology of epilepsy, the
natural history of the disease, as well as important advances in therapeutics.
We focus on 3 areas where important developments have occurred in the past
Diaz-Arrastia R, Agostini MA, Van Ness PC. Evolving Treatment Strategies for Epilepsy. JAMA. 2002;287(22):2917-2920. doi:10.1001/jama.287.22.2917