Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders, the age-dependent incidence shows a 2 peaked course with a first maximum in childhood and a second in older age (⅓ of epilepsies begin after the age of 60).
Epilepsy is present if at least 2 unprovoked seizures have occurred or if increased epileptogenicity can be assumed as probable after a seizure by a corresponding EEG or MRI finding. In approximately 65% of patients with epilepsy, sustained seizure freedom can be achieved by antiepileptic therapy; in the remaining 35%, therapy-resistant or difficult-to-treat epilepsy develops. The most important treatment goals are, in addition to optimal seizure control (ideally freedom from seizures), good tolerability of the drug therapy, avoidance of chronic side effects, simple handling of the medication for the physician and patient, favourable influence of concomitant diseases frequently associated with epilepsy, and consideration of the needs of special patient groups. In general, therapy should be as individualized as possible, tailored to the needs of each patient.1
1 Baumgartner C & Pirker S. Update on the diagnosis and therapy of epilepsy. J Neurol Neurochir Psychiatr 2012, 13 (2): 64-80.