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Scientific Symposium 2014: The Epidemiology, Pathophysiology & Prevention of SUDEP

Recorded on December 9, 2014


This symposium reviews the basic and clinical science of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). Specific areas addressed include epidemiology, clinical risk factors, potential role of preventive strategies, gaps in how physicians educate patients and families, current biomarkers of SUDEP and the evidence for the role of devices in seizure detection and their potential role in preventing SUDEP. In addition, two leading models used to understand the mechanisms underlying SUDEP in animals and humans are discussed: the role of the serotonergic system and respiration and insights into human SUDEP from a mouse model of Dravet syndrome.

Learning Objectives

  • Apply understanding of the clinical risk factors, epidemiology, educational gaps, and basic mechanisms of SUDEP, to developing treatment plans focused on potential role of preventive strategies
  • Counsel patients and families regarding utility of devices to detect seizures
  • Counsel patients / families regarding clinical risk factors, epidemiology, educational gaps, and potential role of preventive strategies underlying SUDEP
  • Understand and advice practitioners and patients / families regarding issues of medication adherence and therapeutic levels as prevention strategy for SUDEP prevention
  • Assist patients / families to develop cognitive skills and strategies to improve medication adherence that could be life saving for some patients.

Target Audience

Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced


Chair: Orrin Devinsky, M.D.
Orrin Devinsky, M.D.

Risk Factors and Prevention of SUDEP
Dale C. Hesdorffer, Ph.D.

Serotonin, Adeonsine and Respiration
George B. Richerson, M.D., Ph.D.

Insights from Dravet Syndrome
William A. Catterall, Ph.D.

Biomarkers of SUDEP and the Role of Devices
Daniel Friedman, M.D.

Pediatric SUDEP and Patient / Family Education
Elizabeth J. Donner, M.D.

Orrin Devinsky, M.D.