, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 249-251
Date: 08 May 2010

What Is Intractable Epilepsy, and When (If Ever) Does It Remit with Medical Treatment?

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Choi H, Heiman G, Pandis D, et al.: Seizure remission and relapse in adults with intractable epilepsy: a cohort study. Epilepsia 2008, 49(8):1440–1445.

Berg AT, Levy SR, Testa FM, D’Souza R: Remission of epilepsy after two drug failures in children: a prospective study. Ann Neurol 2009, 65(5):510–519.

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Introduction

By far the most research in epilepsy—in terms of drug treatment, surgery, and prognosis—concerns the approximately 40% of patients who are “intractable,” “drug resistant,” or “refractory.” The definition of these terms is subject to some controversy, which has contributed to uncertainty regarding some results and discrepancies among studies. A recent taskforce rigorously examined the evidence in refractory epilepsy and came up with a working definition of drug-resistant epilepsy that should be useful in future studies [1].

Patients with drug-resistant epilepsy are worthy of the most study because they have the greatest risk of injury, disability, and sudden d ...