SIGN 143 • Diagnosis and management of epilepsy
in adults

Epilepsy is a common neurological condition affecting people of all ages. In Scotland there are 54,000 people with active epilepsy and there will be between 2,000 and 3,500 new diagnoses each year.

Diagnosis is sometimes complex and up to a quarter of patients referred for specialist management of apparent drug-resistant epilepsy do not have epilepsy at all. In addition, around 50% of referrals to first seizure clinics result from events which are not epileptic.

There is evidence that management can sometimes be suboptimal but with intervention can be improved. Epilepsy carries a small but significant risk of mortality.

The guideline covers all aspects of diagnosis and management of adults with epilepsy including a completely revised section on epilepsy and women’s health and new sections covering psychiatric comorbidity, sleep, and mortality (including sudden unexpected death in epilepsy).

This guideline will be of interest to general practitioners, practice nurses, epilepsy specialist nurses, general physicians, emergency department specialists, neurologists, obstetricians, clinical neuropsychologists and psychiatrists.