Exploring the Hidden Burdens of Persistent Seizures for Patients: Danielle Becker, MD, MS, FAES

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The division director of epilepsy and associate professor of neurology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center discussed the profound repercussion of ongoing seizures for patients with epilepsy which is to be presented at AES 2023 in SK Life Science’s symposium. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

"The fear of a seizure's unpredictability is sometimes more debilitating than the seizures themselves, impacting not just patients' lives but also their mood, relationships, and opportunities. Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy—accounting for approximately 40% of deaths in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy—adds a haunting layer to the constant worry of injury and death that lingers with continued seizures.”

Epilepsy stands as a prevalent neurological condition on a global scale, constituting a persistent challenge in daily life for those impacted by seizures. Patients with epilepsy often contend with heightened comorbidities, notably experiencing elevated rates of depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment. Also, factors such as frequent seizures, adverse treatment effects, and employment uncertainties contribute to a lower quality of life in patients with epilepsy. Thus, the research in this area underscores the impact of illness and unmet needs, especially among those with drug-resistant epilepsy, and suggests a need for attention to novel treatments for this condition.1

SK Life Science is hosting a symposium at the 2023 American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting, held December 1-5, in Orlando, Florida, titled, “Impact of Continued Seizures and Strategies for Seizure Reduction/Freedom” that will be led by a group of experts in epilepsy.2 The company noted that the symposium will discuss currently available strategies for reducing and achieving seizure freedom, and the need to better understand unmet needs for achieving seizure freedom the impact of continued seizures on patients. Additionally in the symposium, experts will speak on evidence-based treatment adjustments before patients consider surgery, and the various treatment options available to support patients in their epilepsy journey.

Prior to the upcoming symposium, one of the speakers, Danielle Becker, MD, MS, FAES, division director of epilepsy and associate professor of neurology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, had a brief conversation with NeurologyLive® to provide an overview of the main points she planned to speak of in the presentation. She talked about how the fear of seizures, even for those seemingly seizure-free, can affect patients' lives and mental well-being. Becker also spoke about the role that the ongoing worry of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy may play in the psychological landscape of individuals with drug-resistant epilepsy. In addition, she explained how societal factors, such as limitations on driving and employment, could compound the challenges faced by individuals grappling with persistent seizures.

Click here for more coverage of AES 2023.

REFERENCES
1. Ioannou P, Foster DL, Sander JW, et al. The burden of epilepsy and unmet need in people with focal seizures. Brain Behav. 2022;12(9):e2589. doi:10.1002/brb3.2589
2. SK Life Science to Host Symposium and Present New Data at the American Epilepsy Society (AES) 2023 Annual Meeting. News Release. SK Life Science. Published November 28, 2023. Accessed November 30, 2023. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sk-life-science-to-host-symposium-and-present-new-data-at-the-american-epilepsy-society-aes-2023-annual-meeting-301998374.html
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