Research Article

Epileptic seizures in a population of 6000. II: Treatment and prognosis.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 287 doi: (Published 03 September 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;287:645
  1. D M Goodridge,
  2. S D Shorvon


    Treatment and prognosis were studied in 122 patients with non-febrile seizures in a population of 6000. Phenytoin and phenobarbitone were the most commonly prescribed drugs, although the popularity of phenobarbitone had declined over time. The average duration of treatment was relatively short, and most patients received single drug treatment. Treatment patterns were erratic, and the surveillance and audit of treatment generally poor. Recurrence after a first attack was found in four fifths of the patients. Generally the total number of seizures suffered by each patient was small, the period of active epilepsy short, and remission when it occurred was usually permanent. The cumulative probability of continuing activity fell and the proportion of patients in remission rose over time. Patients with partial or mixed seizure types had a poorer overall prognosis. The course of the epilepsy in the early years of treatment proved to be a useful guide to the long term prognosis, and the possibility that effective treatment might influence long term prognosis is raised.