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Should consciousness describe seizures and what terms should be applied? Epilepsia's survey results

  • Author(s): Mathern, GW
  • Beninsig, L
  • Nehlig, A
  • et al.

Published Web Location

https://doi.org/10.1111/epi.12867
Abstract

Objective: From May to September 2014, Epilepsia conducted an online survey seeking opinions on whether consciousness should be used in describing focal and generalized seizures, and what terms should be applied to describe focal seizures with loss of awareness and amnesia. This study reports the findings of that survey. Methods: Two questions asked if consciousness should be used to classify seizures and what terms should be applied. Another four questions addressed demographic information. Results: Of 209 individuals that started the poll, 147 (70.3%) completing it, and most that completed it were epileptologists (66%) from Europe (41%) and North America (27%). A majority (64%) indicated that the presence or absence of consciousness should be used to describe focal and generalized seizures, whereas 23% said it should not be used. When asked what term should be used to describe focal seizures with altered awareness and amnesia, 36% said focal impaired consciousness seizures (FICS), 30% selected complex partial seizures (CPS), and 16% answered focal dyscognitive seizures. Significance: This survey indicates that most responders prefer that consciousness be considered in the description of focal and generalized seizures, despite the difficulty in determining awareness clinically. Furthermore, responders could not agree on a single term that could be used to define focal seizures with loss of awareness and amnesia.

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