The prognosis of idiopathic generalized epilepsy

Udaya Seneviratne, Mark Cook, Wendyl D'Souza

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72 Citations (Scopus)


Prognosis describes the trajectory and long-term outcome of a condition. Most studies indicate a better prognosis in idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE) in comparison with other epilepsy syndromes. Studies looking at the long-term outcome of different IGE syndromes are relatively scant. Childhood absence epilepsy appears to have a higher rate of remission compared to juvenile absence epilepsy. In absence epilepsies, development of myoclonus and generalized tonic-clonic seizures predicts lower likelihood of remission. Although most patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) achieve remission on antiepileptic drug therapy, <20% appear to remain in remission without treatment. Data on the prognosis of other IGE syndromes are scarce. There are contradictory findings reported on the value of electroencephalography as a predictor of prognosis. Comparisons are made difficult by study heterogeneity, particularly in methodology and diagnostic criteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2079-2090
Number of pages12
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy
  • Long-term outcome
  • Predictors
  • Remission

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