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Risk of epilepsy after a single seizure in multiple sclerosis.

Journal article
Authors Zamzam Mahamud
J Burman
Johan Zelano
Published in European journal of neurology
Volume 25
Issue 6
Pages 854-860
ISSN 1468-1331
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Pages 854-860
Language en
Subject categories Neurology


The 2014 International League Against Epilepsy clinical definition of epilepsy allows diagnosis after a single unprovoked seizure if the 10-year recurrence risk exceeds 60%. Multiple sclerosis (MS) carries an increased risk of epilepsy, but the risk after a first seizure is unknown. We aimed to investigate the risk of epilepsy in patients with MS who had suffered a first seizure.We cross-referenced data from the Swedish MS register with the national patient register for 15 810 patients with MS and 43 635 controls and included 289 patients with MS and 222 controls with a first diagnosis of seizure or status epilepticus (SE) without prior epilepsy or presumed symptomatic aetiology. Kaplan-Meier curves were used to estimate the risk of epilepsy.The 10-year risk of epilepsy was 51.4% [95% confidence interval (CI), 44.0-58.9] for patients with MS and 41.3% (95% CI, 33.5-49.1) for controls. The risk was 46.1% (95% CI, 35.3-56.9) for patients with relapsing-remitting MS and 60.7% (95% CI, 46.6-74.8) for patients with secondary progressive MS. For patients with MS with SE, the 10-year risk of epilepsy was 85.9% (95% CI, 67.9-100).Our data indicate that patients with relapsing-remitting MS have a similar risk as controls of developing epilepsy after a single seizure. Patients with secondary progressive MS could run a greater risk of subsequent epilepsy, but our data do not indicate a risk that, with certainty, exceeds the threshold specified by the International League Against Epilepsy. Patients with SE have a high risk of epilepsy, possibly motivating diagnosis and treatment.

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