What is the mechanism of death in sudden, unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP)?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: David Y Ko, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

The mechanism of death in SUDEP is controversial, but suggestions include cardiac arrhythmias, neurogenic pulmonary edema, and suffocation during an epileptic seizure with impairment of consciousness. Treatment with anticonvulsants decreases the likelihood of an accidental seizure-related death, and successful epilepsy surgery decreases the risk of SUDEP to that of the general population.


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