The mystery of sudden death: Mechanisms for risks

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Lathers CM, Schraeder PL, and Bungo MW (2008) The mystery of sudden death: Mechanisms for risks. Epilepsy Behav 12:1 3–24.

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Abstract: This review addresses the possible overlapping mechanisms that may apply to the risk of sudden unexpected death occurring in epilepsy and in cardiac disease. It explores the interaction between the central and peripheral autonomic nervous systems and the cardiopulmonary systems. Included is a discussion of the potential interactive role of genetically determined subtle cardiac risk factors for arrhythmias with a predisposition for seizure-related cardiac arrhythmias. We address the possible mechanisms that are operant in producing both epileptogenic and cardiogenic arrhythmias. Finally, we speculate about potential preventive measures to minimize the risk of both sudden unexpected death in epilepsy and sudden cardiac death.

Keywords: Sudden death; Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy; Epilepsy; Cardiac risk factors for sudden death; Stress; Interventions


  • Broad ranging review of a number of hypotheses of mechanisms of SUDEP.


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