Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) is an uncommon but serious complication of epilepsy and is the leading cause of death in people with the condition. The exact cause of SUDEP is unknown, but it is thought to be related to the underlying seizure disorder and possibly to autonomic dysfunction.
Diagnosis of SUDEP is difficult, as it is often only diagnosed after death in an autopsy. However, certain factors may increase the risk, such as frequent seizures, poor seizure control, and sleep disturbances.
Differential diagnosis of SUDEP should include other causes of sudden death, such as cardiac arrhythmia or other cardiac causes, and other neurological conditions, such as stroke.
Treatment of SUDEP is focused on reducing seizure frequency and severity, as well as improving seizure control. This is done through medications, lifestyle changes, and other therapies.
The prognosis of SUDEP is poor, as it is a serious and often fatal complication of epilepsy. However, it is important to note that SUDEP is rare and that the majority of people with epilepsy do not die from it.