Can We Prevent Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP)? Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • ABSTRACT:Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) remains an important cause of epilepsy-related mortality, especially in patients with refractory epilepsy. The exact cause is not known, but postictal cardiac, respiratory, and brainstem dysfunctions are implicated. SUDEP prevention remains a big challenge. Except for low-quality evidence of preventive effect of nocturnal supervision for SUDEP, no other evidence-based preventive modality is available. Other potential preventive strategies for SUDEP include reducing the occurrence of generalized tonic–clonic seizures using seizure detection devices, detecting cardiorespiratory distress through respiratory and heart rate monitoring devices, preventing airway obstruction (safety pillows), and reducing central hypoventilation using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and adenosine and opiate antagonists. However, none of the above-mentioned modalities has been proven to prevent SUDEP. The present review intends to provide insight into the available SUDEP prevention modalities.

publication date

  • July 2021