Redefining epilepsy


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Abstract

Purpose of reviewIn 2014, the definition of epilepsy was revised by the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE).Recent findingsA conceptual definition of epilepsy was proposed by the ILAE in 2005, as a disorder of the brain characterized by an enduring predisposition to generate epileptic seizures and by its psychosocial consequences. Practical application of the epilepsy definition usually is taken to mean at least two unprovoked seizures more than 24 h apart, but a 2014 practical definition refines the description. With this definition, epilepsy is a disease of the brain with either: (1) at least two unprovoked (or reflex) seizures occurring more than 24 h apart; (2) one unprovoked (or reflex) seizure and a probability of further seizures similar to the general recurrence risk (at least 60%) after two unprovoked seizures, occurring over the next 10 years; (3) diagnosis of an epilepsy syndrome. Epilepsy is considered to be resolved for individuals past the applicable age of an age-dependent epilepsy syndrome or those who have remained seizure-free for the past 10 years, with no seizure medicines for the past 5 years.SummaryA consensus process has refined the definition of epilepsy.

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