Common errors made in the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Learning from one's mistakes is the best learning tool in medicine and this applies as well to epilepsy. This article is a compilation of some of the frequent mistakes that are made in the evaluation and management of patients with epilepsy. It encompasses errors in the clinical diagnosis that result in the choice of the erroneous antiepileptic drug (AED), errors in the way auxiliary tests like the electroencephalogram and magnetic resonance imaging studies are ordered, mistakes in the recognition of subclinical status epilepticus, errors in the selection of AEDs, consequences of the failure to factor in the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of AEDs in the choice and dosification of medication, misconceptions on the expectations of therapeutic effect of AEDs, delay in recognition of refractory epilepsy with consequent delay in a timely identification of patients whose epilepsy can be cured with surgical treatment, and mistakes in the recognition and management of comorbid psychiatric disorders. In addition to a discussion of the reasons for the errors, the article provides practical solutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-378
Number of pages15
JournalSeminars in Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • Applied pharmacokinetics
  • Intractable epilepsy
  • Nonepileptic seizures
  • Status epilepticus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Common errors made in the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this