“Oftentimes, unpredictability [of seizures] really affects a lot of people with epilepsy. Even beyond the injuries that can possibly happen, it can lead to a feeling of helplessness, and keeping a good seizure diary can help you to kind of understand your own epilepsy and understand when the periods when you’re at high risk and low risk, and in that aspect it can be helpful to many people.”

In patients with epilepsy, treatment response is often measured during clinic visits with the physician, during which the patient will reveal a count of how many seizures they experienced during the timeframe between visits. This information is critical and can influence a physician’s decisions on the treatment plan for each patient. Although, a major challenge persists in the natural variation that can come along with seizures in the epilepsy disease course, among other factors, which can then lead to potentially harmful treatment adjustments.

To help combat this challenge and improve treatment plans, Sharon Chiang, MD, PhD, resident physician, neurology, University of California San Francisco, suggests having patients utilize seizure diaries. She explained that these diaries can help to understand patterns, triggers, and the rhythmicity of seizures within the context of a patients’ natural history. As well, they can be extraordinarily helpful in the process of determining risk periods for patients.

At the 2019 International Epilepsy Congress, June 22-26, in Bangkok, Thailand, Chiang sat with NeurologyLive to discuss the use of seizure diaries, what patients should record in them, and how they can play a role in the understanding of an individual patient’s response to a given treatment.

For more coverage of IEC 2019, click here.
REFERENCE
Chiang S. Hidden in plain sight: revealing seizure risk with seizure diaries. Presented at: 2019 International Epilepsy Congress. June 22-26, 2019; Bangkok, Thailand.