Are the days of counting seizures numbered?

Seer team members, Pip Karoly and Mark Cook have written a review discussing the importance and relevance of counting seizures

Read the full paper here

Abstract

Purpose of review The estimation of seizure frequency is a cornerstone of clinical management of epilepsy and the evaluation of new therapies. Current estimation approaches are significantly limited by several factors. Comparing patient diaries and objective estimates (through both inpatient video-EEG monitoring of and long-term ambulatory EEG studies) reveal that patients document seizures inaccurately. So far, few practical alternative methods of estimation have been available.

Recent findings We review the systems of counting currently utilized and their limitations, as well as the limitations imposed by problems defining clinical events. Alternative methodologies that permit the volatility of seizure rates to be accommodated, and possible alternative measures of brain excitability will be outlined. Recent developments in technologies around data capture, such as wearable and implantable devices, as well as significant advances in the ability to analyse the large data-sets supplied by these systems have provided a wealth of information.

Summary There are now unprecedented opportunities to utilize and apply these insights in routine clinical management and assessment of therapies. The rapid adoption of long-term, wearable monitoring systems will permit major advances in our understanding of the natural history of epilepsy, and lead to more effective therapies and improved patient safety.