For some people living with epilepsy, the risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) is an important concern. SUDEP refers to deaths in people with epilepsy that are not caused by injury, drowning, or other known causes. Most, but not all, cases of SUDEP occur during or immediately after a seizure.
Consequently, can you get brain damage from a seizure?
Epilepsy is not contagious and is not caused by mental illness or mental retardation. Sometimes severe seizure can cause brain damage, but most seizures do not seem to have a detrimental effect on the brain. Epilepsy has many possible causes, from illness to brain damage to abnormal brain development.
Are epileptic seizures life threatening?
These cases often result from tumors, trauma or other problems that affect the brain and may by themselves be life-threatening. Most seizures do not require emergency medical treatment. However, someone with a seizure that lasts more than five minutes may be in status epilepticus.
What is the death rate of seizures?
Patients who have been unsupervised after their seizures have had a higher rate of SUDEP. Symptomatic seizures are reported in 34-70% of SUDEP cases. The annual risk of SUDEP is estimated to be 1 per 100 for patients with symptomatic seizures and 1 per 1,000 for patients with idiopathic seizures.