Clinical courses of pure sleep epilepsies

Seizure. 1998 Oct;7(5):369-77. doi: 10.1016/s1059-1311(05)80005-6.


This study aims to understand seizure control outcomes and the risk of developing new wake seizures (WS) related to the different types of pure sleep epilepsies (SE), which is important in making rational management plans. A retrospective review of the Yonsei Epilepsy Clinic Registry identified 63 patients with pure SE not belonging to any specific epileptic syndromes. They were divided into the group of generalized tonic-clonic seizures during sleep (S-GTCS : n = 21) and the group of partial epilepsies during sleep (S-PE: n = 42) on the basis of seizure phenomenology, EEG, and neuroimaging data. These patients were followed for 2 years and their clinical variables were analysed for seizure control outcomes and development of new WS. Of 21 patients with S-GTCS, 17 achieved a seizure-free outcome and only one patient developed a new WS, which was consistent with a partial-onset secondary GTCS in phenomenology. Of 42 patients with S-PE only 15 patients achieved a seizure-free outcome and 11 patients developed WS during the 2-year follow-up period. Higher baseline seizure frequency and longer duration of epilepsy were associated with a higher incidence of new WS. The results suggest that the patients with S-GTCS carry a favorable clinical course, thus driving privileges or freedom of daily activities can be conferred without delay once their seizures are well controlled. However, the seizure control outcome was poor and the development of WS was frequent in patients with recurrent S-PE.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Disease Progression
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsies, Partial / complications
  • Epilepsies, Partial / diagnosis*
  • Epilepsies, Partial / drug therapy*
  • Epilepsy, Tonic-Clonic / complications
  • Epilepsy, Tonic-Clonic / diagnosis*
  • Epilepsy, Tonic-Clonic / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Seizures / classification*
  • Seizures / complications
  • Seizures / prevention & control
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / classification
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / complications
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / drug therapy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticonvulsants