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Management of Epilepsy Comorbidities

Sirven, Joseph I. MD, FAAN

CONTINUUM: Lifelong Learning in Neurology: February 2016 - Volume 22 - Issue 1, Epilepsy - p 191–203
doi: 10.1212/CON.0000000000000268
Review Articles

ABSTRACT Purpose of Review: Many comorbid conditions occur among people with epilepsy. These comorbid conditions can be divided into physical, psychiatric, and cognitive groups. This article examines the common comorbid conditions associated with epilepsy and identifies management strategies to mitigate these health concerns.

Recent Findings: Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is an important and common cause of epilepsy-related mortality, with the most important identified predictor being recurrent seizures. Psychiatric and cognitive comorbidities of epilepsy are also particularly common. Individuals with epilepsy need to be screened and treated for psychiatric comorbidities.

Summary: This article explains common comorbid conditions such as depression, anxiety, and memory difficulties; outlines treatment approaches; and discusses functional restrictions such as driving. SUDEP and the risk factors that contribute to it are also discussed.

Address correspondence to Dr Joseph I. Sirven, 5777 East Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix, AZ 85054,

Relationship Disclosure: Dr Sirven serves on the advisory board of Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc; on the data safety monitoring board of Acorda Therapeutics; and as a consultant for the Epilepsy Foundation. Dr Sirven receives research support from NeuroPace, Inc.

Unlabeled Use of Products/Investigational Use Disclosure: Dr Sirven reports no disclosure.

© 2016 American Academy of Neurology
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