Expert Consensus Guidelines for Managing Epilepsy - Brief Article

Author: Elaine Kierl Gangel
Date: March 15, 2002

New "Expert Consensus Guidelines" for managing epilepsy have been developed and reported in the November/December 2001 issue of Epilepsy and Behavior. It is estimated that 2.3 million Americans have epilepsy and about one half of these are female.

Two major changes were made in the new guidelines. First, more trials of monotherapy were recommended before initiating trials of combination therapy. These trials consider the full range of available antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) based on seizure type and individual needs. Currently, 26 AEDs are available for treatment of epilepsy; eight of them were approved for use in the past decade. Second, special consideration was given to treatment strategies for women and older adults. Some research has indicated that AEDs may affect women's reproductive health and cause impaired cognition and sedation in older adults.

The Expert Consensus Guidelines were developed using a new process that analyzed responses to surveys made by persons considered to have developed expertise about epilepsy. The participants had an average of 20 years of experience in practice, and most worked in an academic clinical or research setting.

COPYRIGHT 2002 American Academy of Family PhysiciansCOPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group

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