Seizure clusters: Characteristics and treatment

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose of review Many patients with epilepsy experience 'clusters' or flurries of seizures, also termed acute repetitive seizures (ARS). Seizure clustering has a significant impact on health and quality of life. This review summarizes recent advances in the definition and neurophysiologic understanding of clustering, the epidemiology and risk factors for clustering and both inpatient and outpatient clinical implications. New treatments for seizure clustering/ARS are perhaps the area of greatest recent progress. Recent findings Efforts have focused on creating a uniform definition of a seizure cluster. In neurophysiologic studies of refractory epilepsy, seizures within a cluster appear to be self-triggering. Clinical progress has been achieved towards a more precise prevalence of clustering, and consensus guidelines for epilepsy monitoring unit safety. The greatest recent advances are in the study of nonintravenous route of benzodiazepines as rescue medications for seizure clusters/ARS. Rectal benzodiazepines have been very effective but barriers to use exist. New data on buccal, intramuscular and intranasal preparations are anticipated to lead to a greater number of approved treatments. Progesterone may be effective for women who experience catamenial clusters. Summary Seizure clustering is common, particularly in the setting of medically refractory epilepsy. Clustering worsens health and quality of life, and the field requires greater focus on clarifying of definition and clinical implications. Progress towards the development of nonintravenous routes of benzodiazepines has the potential to improve care in this area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-150
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurology
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 7 2015

Keywords

  • Acute repetitive seizures
  • Benzodiazepine
  • Seizure cluster
  • Serial seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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