December 4, 2022

Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is the major cause of premature death in epilepsy patients, particularly those with refractory epilepsy. Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy is thought to be related to peri-ictal cardiac dysfunction, respiratory depression, and autonomic dysfunction, albeit the exact etiology is unknown. Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy prevention remains a huge challenge. The sole presence and frequency of generalized tonic–clonic seizures (GTCS) are the most important risk factors for SUDEP, and nocturnal monitoring may lower the risk with the use of remote listening devices. In addition, studies in animal models of SUDEP have discovered that multiple neurotransmitters, including serotonin (5-HT) and adenosine, may be involved in the pathophysiological mechanisms of SUDEP and that these neurotransmitters could be the targets of future pharmacological intervention for SUDEP. The latest research findings on the epidemiology, clinical risk factors, and probable causes of SUDEP are presented in this review.

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