New research has demonstrated people with epilepsy in the UK generally experience positive long-term prognoses in terms of seizure control.
The study, led by the University College London’s Institute of Neurology, investigated seizure prognosis and survival rates in people with newly diagnosed epilepsy in the community, with attention paid to whether outcomes were different between those with epilepsy (meaning they had experienced more than two unprovoked seizures) and those with only a single seizure, at presentation.
A total of 695 people with newly diagnosed seizures were included in the study, and their seizure outcomes and survival rates were measured over a period of 25 years. The results were published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.
For the final seizure analysis, 38 people with missing data were excluded, leaving 657 subjects. Of these, seizures recurred in 67%. The 354 people with diagnosed epilepsy were shown to be only slightly more likely to have further seizure recurrence than the 302 people with a single seizure at presentation.
Among the 327 people with complete follow-up data, 268 were in terminal remission, showing that the majority of patients involved in the study could expect to achieve seizure freedom in the long-term.
However, the risk of premature mortality in both groups was found to be considerably higher than ‘normal’, and this was also the case for people in early remission.
The researchers concluded: “People with epilepsy and with single seizures at presentation in the community generally have good prognosis for seizure control with prolonged follow-up. The risk of premature mortality is significantly increased in both groups.”
It is estimated that around 600,000 people in the UK have epilepsy, with an average of 87 people being diagnosed with the condition each day.
Posted by Steve Long
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