Paroxysmal Abnormalities in the Brain and Defining the ‘Seizure’: Michael Sperling, MD


At the 2022 AES Conference, the Baldwin Keyes professor of neurology at Thomas Jefferson University, talked about what defines a ‘seizure’ and changing the terminology. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

“The word seizure is overly broad. It describes a lot of different phenomena that have very different medical implications with regard to the need for the type of treatment, and especially risk.”

The definition for seizure has become widely broad as it has been used as the same term for describing multiple disparities of the phenomena. Having more education on the implications of the term for seizures and changing the perspective of the word may produce more targeted therapies for patients who develop them. In addition, changing the definition and terminology of the word ‘seizure’ is a long process in general for which several members of the neurological community as well as patients affected by epilepsy and seizures would be included in the decision.

At the 2022 American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting, held December 2 to 6, in Nashville, Tennessee, Michael Sperling, MD, presented a talk on the different definitions of a seizure.1 In the talk, he provided his clinical perspective of defining seizures and the surrounding concept of the term within regard to patients with epilepsy.

During the meeting, Sperling sat down with NeurologyLive® for an interview to discuss more about the definition of a seizure based on his talk. Because it has extended to a wider terminology from the various types of seizures, Sperling explained that the definition needs to be addressed in a more specific way. Sperling, Baldwin Keyes professor of neurology, Thomas Jefferson University, shared how long he anticipates the process with changing the definition as clinicians move toward more personalized and targeted treatment.

Click here for more coverage of AES 2022.

1. Sperling M. Clinical Controversies on the Definition of a 'Seizure'. Presented at: AES Annual Meeting; December 2-6, 2022; Nashville, TN, and virtual. Epilepsy Specialist Symposium.
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