Chapter

Definition and frequency of epilepsy

Simon Shorvon

in Epilepsy

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780199560042
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191740244 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199560042.003.0001

Series: Oxford Neurology Library

Definition and frequency of epilepsy

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Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions. In a typical Western population of 1 million people, there will be 5,000 people with epilepsy and 500 new cases each year.

Epilepsy can take many forms and has many causes.

The highest incidence rates are in children and in the elderly. It also occurs with a high frequency in people with learning disability.

Although the prognosis is generally good, the mortality rate in epilepsy is higher than in the general population. Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is a particular problem occurring in patients prone to tonic-clonic seizures, at a frequency of approximately 1 case per 2,500 persons per year in mild epilepsy to 1 case per 100 persons per year in severe epilepsy.

Chapter.  1856 words. 

Subjects: Neurology

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