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Increasing SUDEP Knowledge Across Clinical Care: Fabio Nascimento, MD

The clinical fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital discussed whether SUDEP knowledge is at an appropriate level for neurologists and those in other neurology subspecialties.

"General pediatricians, general neurologists, and primary care physicians, even though they don’t take care of patients with epilepsy, they should be well-versed. They should make it a point every visit to tell someone who’s at high risk but may not have refractory seizures and say, ‘hey, this is a risk you should know about.’"

Research led by Fabio Nascimento, MD, evaluated baseline sudden death in epilepsy (SUDEP) knowledge and counseling practices among national and international adult neurology trainees. Among 161 respondents in the US and 171 respondents outside the US, the data showed alarming gaps of SUDEP knowledge, including familiarity with its risk factors and potential mitigation strategies.

While the study highlighted these issues, there were limitations to the research, including the relatively small number of trainees which may not be a reliable representation of the worldwide trainee education. Nascimento, a clinical fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, said that while they did not ask trainees to specify their clinical focus, there could be differences within different neurology subspecialties.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, Nascimento provided background on specific inconsistencies on SUDEP knowledge between neurologists, as well as evaluating other specialties outside of neurology that should be versed on SUDEP.