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Epilepsy in Sports and Recreation

Abstract

In the US, millions of people participate in physical activity on a regular basis. However, among the many people with epilepsy, few incorporate exercise into their daily routine. Whether it is because of parental or physician restriction, the fact remains that people with epilepsy are less fit and are not getting the exercise they need. For many years, patients with seizure disorders have been discouraged from participating in physical fitness and team sports due to the fear that it will exacerbate their seizure disorder. However, this overprotective attitude has been slowly changing in light of more recent data on this subject. The evidence shows that patients with good seizure control can participate in both contact and non-contact sports without adversely affecting seizure frequency. This article reviews the effects of exercise on seizure control among patients with epilepsy. It examines the morbidity and mortality associated with exercise, as well as its psychological and physiological effects. Various topics concerning antiepileptic drugs and exercise are also discussed.

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Acknowledgements

This manuscript was prepared as an academic exercise with no sources of funding. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to James P. Kelly.

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Dubow, J.S., Kelly, J.P. Epilepsy in Sports and Recreation. Sports Med 33, 499–516 (2003). https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200333070-00003

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Keywords

  • Physical Activity
  • Sport Participation
  • Epileptic Patient
  • Intractable Epilepsy
  • Complex Partial Seizure