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Journal of Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology

Print version ISSN 1676-2649


GUILHOTO, Laura M. F. F.. Revised terminology and concepts for organization of seizures and epilepsies: report of the ILAE Commission on Classification and Terminology, 2005-2009. New paradigms?. J. epilepsy clin. neurophysiol. [online]. 2011, vol.17, n.3, pp.100-105. ISSN 1676-2649.

Introduction: The categorization of epileptic seizures and epilepsies has been described in organized Classifications by the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) in the last 50 years. According to these initial documents which have been reviewed in the 1980ths, epileptic seizures were divided in partial (focal) and generalized, regarding its onset type, either in one specific area in the brain or in a bilateral pattern, respectively. The etiology of the epilepsies were then considered to be idiopathic, symptomatic or criptogenic. Recently a broad discussion has emerged since the publication of the document of the Commission on Classification and Terminology of ILAE in 2010. Objetive/Method: Divulgation in Portuguese of the summary and comments of the “Revised terminology and concepts for organization of seizures and epilepsies: Report of the ILAE Commission on Classification and Terminology, 2005-2009” in order to present it to the Health personnel of the Portuguese Speaking countries. Results: Generalized and focal are redefined for seizures as occurring in and rapidly engaging bilaterally distributed networks (generalized) and within networks limited to one hemisphere and either discretely localized or more widely distributed (focal). Classification of generalized seizures is simplified. No natural classification for focal seizures exists; focal seizures should be described according to their manifestations (e.g., dyscognitive, motor, etc). The concepts of generalized and focal do not apply to electroclinical syndromes. Genetic, structural-metabolic, and unknown represent modified concepts to replace idiopathic, symptomatic, and cryptogenic, respectively. Not all epilepsies are recognized as electroclinical syndromes. Organization of forms of epilepsies is done by specificity, as follows: electroclinical syndromes, nonsyndromic epilepsies with structural-metabolic causes, and epilepsies of unknown cause. Natural classes (e.g., specific underlying cause, age at onset, associated seizure type), or pragmatic groupings (e.g., epileptic encephalopathies, self-limited electroclinical syndromes) may serve as the basis for organizing knowledge about recognized forms and facilitate identification of new ones. Several international specialist opinions about this report were divulged and a new report will be presented in 2013 by the Commission of Classification and Terminology of ILAE. Conclusion: The ILAE Commission on Classification and Terminology has revised concepts, terminology, and approaches for classifying seizures and forms of epilepsy and the results of the discussion group were published in 2010 and the final report will be released in 2013.

Keywords : epilepsy; classification; syndrome; seizure; organization.

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