Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria
On-line version ISSN 1678-4227
SCORZA, Fulvio A. et al. Could sudden cardiac death in epilepsy be related to the occurrence of thalamic dysfunction or anatomic change?. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 2009, vol.67, n.1, pp. 139-143. ISSN 1678-4227. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0004-282X2009000100037.
Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is the most important direct epilepsy-related cause of death in people with chronic epilepsy. Its physiopathology is still unknown; however, the most commonly suggested potential mechanisms involve cardiac or respiratory abnormalities. As the anatomical substrate of epileptic activity in the central nervous system (CNS) shows a direct relationship with cardiovascular alterations, this may suggests that patients with epilepsy associated with focal CNS lesions may be at particular risk of SUDEP. Currently, experimental and clinical data support an important role for thalamic nuclei in the behavioural manifestations, initiation and propagation of seizures. In view of the above findings, we purpose that SUDEP, at least in some cases, could be related to the occurrence of thalamic dysfunction or anatomic change.
Keywords : epilepsy; cardiovascular abnormalities; heart; thalamus; sudden unexpected death in epilepsy.