Introduction – The prognosis of idiopathic generalized epilepsy syndromes (IGES) in the adult setting may vary from that in children owing to differences in genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors.
Methods – All patients diagnosed with epilepsy at the Epilepsy Unit, Western Infirmary, Glasgow, between 1981 and 2001 were reviewed.
Results – Of 890 patients, 118 (13%) met the criteria for IGES. Outcomes were known for 103, 66 (64%) of whom achieved remission. The responder rate with sodium valproate was superior (66% vs 45%, P = 0.073) to that with lamotrigine (LTG) particularly in patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsies (75% vs 39%, P = 0.014). History of febrile seizures was the only factor associated with reduced likelihood of remission (P = 0.032)
Conclusions – Idiopathic generalized epilepsy syndromes constituted 13% of cases in a largely adult cohort of newly diagnosed epilepsy, most of whom achieved remission usually with a single antiepileptic drug. History of febrile seizures was associated with a poorer outcome.