Chapter

Epilepsy

Lorene M. Nelson, Caroline M. Tanner, Stephen K. Van Den Eeden and Valerie M. McGuire

in Neuroepidemiology

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780195133790
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199863730 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195133790.003.12
Epilepsy

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This chapter begins with a discussion of the taxonomy of seizure disorders and the clinical features of epilepsy that pose methodological challenges in clinical and epidemiologic studies. Descriptive studies of incidence and prevalence are described for the following seizure types: partial, generalized tonic-clonic, myoclonic, and absence seizures. Risk factors for epilepsy are discussed in the context of case-control and cohort designs, and evidence is summarized regarding the role of non-genetic risk factors (traumatic brain injury, infections, cerebrovascular disease, brain tumors, degenerative CNS diseases, and developmental deficits). The chapter discusses factors associated with prognosis and mortality of epilepsy, as well as common causes of death in epilepsy patients. The final section addresses evidence for familial aggregation and genetic causes of seizures.

Keywords: seizure disorders; seizure epidemiology; partial seizures; generalized tonic-clonic seizures; myoclonic seizures; absence seizures; causal factors; risk factors; genetic factors; prognosis

Chapter.  8607 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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