Remission of seizures and relapse in patients with epilepsy

Epilepsia. 1979 Dec;20(6):729-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.1979.tb04857.x.


In a longitudinal study of patients with epilepsy in Rochester, Minnesota, we found that the probability of being in remission (at least 5 consecutive years seizure-free, and continuing) at 20 years after diagnosis was 70%. The rates for remission we encountered were generally higher than those previously reported. We believe that the better prognosis in our series results from inclusion of all incidence cases in a defined population, beginning at the initial diagnosis of epilepsy. Prognosis for remission of epilepsy is poor in patients with associated neurologic dysfunction identified from birth. Patients with idiopathic seizures and survivors of postnatally acquired epilepsy have better prospects for eventual remission. The probability of remission is highest in patients with generalized-onset seizures diagnosed before 10 years of age. Prognosis is less favorable for those with partial complex seizures and adult-onset epilepsy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Epilepsy / etiology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Remission, Spontaneous


  • Anticonvulsants