What Factors Influence Outcome for Epilepsy Patients?

Overall, about 60% of patients with epilepsy have a permanent remission, meaning no seizures on medication. About 25% are treatment-resistant. The remainder are not seizure-free but have good quality of life.

Childhood absence epilepsy (petit mal) can be controlled about 80% of the time.

About 70% of patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy are seizure-free. Most need lifelong treatment, but recent studies show that about 10% to 20% could stop medications after many years.

Poor prognostic factors are a young age at onset of seizures, more seizures at the start of treatment, and a higher number of drugs that a patient has failed.

A new and exciting development is the recognition of “autoimmune epilepsy,” which may be common in patients with treatment-resistant seizures and may respond to treatment other than antiepileptic drugs.

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