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“The biggest source of research in this area is under sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, SUDEP. SUDEP, happens in 1 in 1000 patients with epilepsy, and 100 in patients with refractory epilepsy and 70% of these deaths happen in sleep.”
Sleep and epilepsy have a bidirectional relationship that intersects with many aspects of clinical management. In epilepsy, sleep disorders including insomnia are common, and with earlier diagnosis along with treatment, this may reduce the frequency of patients’ seizures. Earlier prevention of sleep disorders for patients with epilepsy may also reduce their risk for sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). Treatments in the future for epilepsy may include considering the sleep health of the patients to prevent their risk of SUDEP.
Sanjeev Kothare, MD, spoke in a special lecture from a pediatric perspective about epilepsy and its relation to sleep health at the 2022 American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting (AES), held December 2 to 6, in Nashville, Tennessee. Based on his prior research, Kothare discussed the role of sleep with children and their increased risk of SUPEP.
Kothare, division director of pediatric neurology, and director of the pediatric sleep program at Cohen, Children's Medical Center, Northwell Health, was interviewed by NeurologyLive® at the 2022 AES meeting about bringing more awareness to the relationship between sleep and epilepsy, and how they impact each other. He mentioned some areas of research that need increased efforts in as well as other topics that were discussed in the lecture.
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1. Kothare S. Sleep and Epilepsy in Children. Presented at: AES Annual Meeting; December 2-6, 2022; Nashville, TN, and virtual. Special Lecture.