AAN Unveils New Guideline for SUDEP at Annual Meeting

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the American Epilepsy Society (AES) have released a new joint guideline for sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) at the AAN Annual Meeting in Boston. SUDEP is rare in children, affecting just one in 4,500 children every year, while in adults it affects one in 1,000 individuals every year, according to the new study. Based on a review of all available evidence showing, investigators found that general tonic-clonic seizures represent a major risk factor for SUDEP. The guideline therefore recommends that health professionals tell people with epilepsy that controlling these seizures and seizures in general may reduce the risk of SUDEP.

“Educating health professionals and people with epilepsy about SUDEP is an important first step,” said Cynthia Harden, MD, in a press release. “This guideline makes the conversation much easier with information that may motivate people to take their medications on time, to never skip taking their medications and to learn and manage their seizure triggers so they can work toward reducing seizures.

The new guideline, which was also endorsed by the International Child Neurology Association, was published in the April 24 edition of Neurology.

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