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NeuroepidemiologyFrom principles to practice$
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Lorene M. Nelson, Caroline M. Tanner, Stephen Van Den Eeden, and Valarie M. McGuire

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195133790

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195133790.001.0001

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(p.303) 12 Epilepsy

Lorene M. Nelson

Caroline M. Tanner

Stephen K. Van Den Eeden

Valerie M. McGuire

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a discussion of the taxonomy of seizure disorders and the clinical features of epilepsy that pose methodological challenges in clinical and epidemiologic studies. Descriptive studies of incidence and prevalence are described for the following seizure types: partial, generalized tonic-clonic, myoclonic, and absence seizures. Risk factors for epilepsy are discussed in the context of case-control and cohort designs, and evidence is summarized regarding the role of non-genetic risk factors (traumatic brain injury, infections, cerebrovascular disease, brain tumors, degenerative CNS diseases, and developmental deficits). The chapter discusses factors associated with prognosis and mortality of epilepsy, as well as common causes of death in epilepsy patients. The final section addresses evidence for familial aggregation and genetic causes of seizures.

Keywords:   seizure disorders, seizure epidemiology, partial seizures, generalized tonic-clonic seizures, myoclonic seizures, absence seizures, causal factors, risk factors, genetic factors, prognosis

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