Interest in status epilepticus—the most extreme form of epilepsy, involving continuous seizures—has surged in the last 20 years. Since 1979 there have been over 4,000 publications on the subject, including more than 1,700 in the last five years. No other text provides such a comprehensive review of the recent advances in the field of status epilepticus.
The book focuses on the two areas in which progress has been most rapid: basic mechanisms and treatment. There is now a greater understanding of the mechanisms and complications of status epilepticus at the molecular level, which should eventually lead to improved therapy, and treatment strategies today have a greater sense of urgency because of the realization that neuronal apoptosis and necrosis can be triggered very quickly.
After an overview of history, classification, and epidemiology, the contributors consider clinical phenomenology, biological markers, pathophysiology, brain damage, epileptogenesis, therapeutic principles, pharmacology, and therapeutic management. Their contributions are equally divided between studies of basic mechanisms in animal models and clinical studies, so that the reader can turn easily from the reductionist experiment that isolates a small component of status to the complex clinical situation in which these principles can translate into therapeutic action. The goal is to provide a scientific rationale for clinical decisions while developing therapeutic attitudes that are firmly grounded in pathophysiology.
—Steven C. Schachter, M. D., Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School