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Section 4 - Provoked epilepsies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 March 2012

Simon D. Shorvon
Affiliation:
National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London
Frederick Andermann
Affiliation:
Montreal Neurological Hospital and Institute
Renzo Guerrini
Affiliation:
Child Neurology Unit, Meyer Pediatric Hospital, Florence
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Summary

In many types of epilepsy, both idiopathic and symptomatic, seizures are more likely to occur at times of stress, menstruation, sleep deprivation, fever, metabolic disturbance, hypoglycemia, and so on. These are commonly known as seizure precipitants and are widely accepted. Seizures that are due to reversible environmental triggers such as metabolic change or fever have no known physiological difference from those of patients with epilepsy who experience seizures provoked by the same cause. Most of the scientific work has focused for obvious reasons, on the seizures in reflex epilepsies, as these seizures can be reliably provoked and therefore studied in laboratory conditions and also because there are a number of suitable animal models. The remarkable suppression of photosensitivity by valproate or levetiracetam and the absence of any effect by carbamazepine is an example. Similarly, GABAergic drugs seem particularly effective in the photosensitive baboon Papio papio and the audiogenic mouse models.
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Chapter
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The Causes of Epilepsy
Common and Uncommon Causes in Adults and Children
, pp. 625 - 722
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

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