Intractable Generalized Epilepsy: Therapeutic Approaches

  • Sean T. HwangEmail author
  • Scott J. Stevens
  • Aradia X. Fu
  • Simona V. Proteasa
Epilepsy (C. W. Bazil, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Epilepsy


Purpose of Review

To summarize recent developments in therapeutic options, both medical and surgical, for patients with drug-resistant generalized epilepsy syndromes, which continue to be a multifaceted challenge for patients and physicians.

Recent Findings

Newer generation pharmaceutical options are now available, such as brivaracetam, rufinamide, lacosamide, perampanel, and cannabidiol. Less restrictive dietary options appear to be nearly as effective as classic ketogenic diet for amelioration of seizures. The latest implantable devices include responsive neurostimulation and deep brain stimulation. Corpus callosotomy is an effective treatment for some seizure types, and newer and less invasive approaches are being explored. Resective surgical options have demonstrated success in carefully selected patients despite generalized electrographic findings on electroencephalogram.


The current literature reflects a widening range of clinical experience with newer anticonvulsant medications including cannabinoids, dietary therapies, surgical approaches, and neurostimulation devices for patients with intractable generalized epilepsy.


Drug resistant Refractory Intractable Generalized epilepsy 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Sean T. Hwang, Simona V. Proteasa, Aradia X. Fu, and Scott J. Stevens each declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sean T. Hwang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Scott J. Stevens
    • 1
  • Aradia X. Fu
    • 1
  • Simona V. Proteasa
    • 1
  1. 1.Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra NorthwellHempsteadUSA

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