Seizures and therapy in adolescents with uncomplicated epilepsy

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Purpose: This study aimed to describe seizures and their therapy among Swedish adolescents, aged 13-22, with active but uncomplicated epilepsy. Method: The adolescents answered questionnaires (158/193). Data were also obtained from medical records. Results: Epileptic seizure types could be specified in 92.1% of the cases. Predominant types were Primary Generalised Tonic-Clonic Seizures and Partial Complex Seizures with Secondary Generalisation. Clinical diagnoses by physicians were unspecified in 25.8%. Ninety percent were on antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), most commonly valproate and carbamazepine. New AEDs were used in 9.3% of the cases and polytherapy in 13.9%. More than 40% of the respondents had seizures despite AED treatment. Side effects of AEDs were experienced by 61%, most commonly tiredness, concentration difficulties and headache. Patients on polytherapy experienced significantly more side effects. The choice of a new AED over a traditional one was not related to seizure type or seizure control. Conclusions: Many adolescents had persistent seizures despite treatment at a specialist regional epilepsy centre. This, plus the high reported rate of side effects of AED treatment, suggests that treatment is not optimal for the group studied. As traditional AEDs strongly dominated treatment possibly newly marketed AEDs are underused in this group. © 2002 BEA Trading Ltd. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.




Räty, L. K. A., Wilde-Larsson, B., & Söderfeldt, B. A. (2003). Seizures and therapy in adolescents with uncomplicated epilepsy. Seizure, 12(4), 229–236.

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