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International case-control study of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy

60 months
Approved budget:
Dr Peter Bergin
Health issue:
Neurological (CNS)
Proposal type:
Lay summary
A case-control study of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) will be undertaken. SUDEP affects approximately 1 / 1000 people with epilepsy per year and is particularly common in young adults; it is therefore second only to stroke as the leading neurological cause of total years of potential life lost. We aim to prospectively identify 200 cases of SUDEP, and for each case we will identify four controls matched for age, sex and geographical location. We will compare a range of variables to determine important risk factors. Among other variables, we will look at seizure variables, drug treatment (anti-epilepsy drugs and SSRI drugs in particular), sleeping arrangements and nocturnal monitoring, and socio-economic factors. To ensure that the study can be completed in a reasonable time frame, we will conduct the study in overseas centres as well as in New Zealand