People with epilepsy face a significantly increased risk of death from direct effects of seizures as well as indirect effects of epilepsy and its treatment. Sudden death is approximately 25-fold higher among people with epilepsy compared with those in the general population, with the greatest risk due to sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).1 Despite intensive research leading to animal models as well as epidemiologic and clinical studies to better define mechanisms and risk factors, SUDEP continues to be the leading cause of epilepsy-related death.
Devinsky O, Ryvlin P, Friedman D. Preventing Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy. JAMA Neurol. Published online April 16, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.0400
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