• primary generalized epilepsy;
  • idiopathic generalized epilepsy;
  • seizure;
  • antiepileptic drug

Kharazmi E, Peltola M, Fallah M, Keränen T, Peltola J. Idiopathic generalized epilepsies: a follow-up study in a single-center. Acta Neurol Scand: 122: 196–201. © 2009 The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Munksgaard.

Objective –  To characterize adult patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsies (IGEs) with precise evaluation and to assess factors related to refractoriness.

Materials and methods –  Hospital records of all our patients with IGEs (n = 128) were evaluated in 2005 and followed-up until 2008.

Results –  In 2005, 76% of patients were 1-year seizure-free. Seizure freedom increased to 82% during the 3-year follow-up. Seizure freedom was not significantly associated with age, age at diagnosis, epilepsy duration, exposure to inappropriate initial antiepileptic drug (AED), or delay time between starting initial AED and appropriate AED. Women constituted 78% of patients with merely provoked seizures. In 58% of women with recent seizure, one to two avoidable precipitating factors, such as lack of sleep, alcohol, and forgetting to take AED, were observed. In 2008, all patients with no medication, 91% of monotherapy patients, 60% of patients on two AED, and 14% of patients on three AED were seizure-free.

Conclusions –  Most of patients with IGEs can be successfully treated with monotherapy. Refractory seizures in some patients may be because of avoidable factors, especially in young women.