A study found that fewer than half of adult neurology trainees polled nationally and internationally were educated about sudden death in epilepsy, or SUDEP, and most were unfamiliar with its risks.
“We need to pivot as a community from studying SUDEP to preventing,” says Dr. Devinsky. “The last decade has witnessed an explosion of research and publications on SUDEP—and neurology’s certainly been a home for many of them—but I think now we need to start to move forward on really changing.”
He says educating patients should be a priority now, and that every neurologist should be discussing SUDEP with parents, adult patients, and adolescents.
People with epilepsy need to know that if they take their medications, avoid drinking alcohol, and get good sleep, they can lower their risk of seizures, which can prevent head trauma, dislocated shoulders and factures, drowning, and SUDEP, Dr. Devinsky says.
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