Consciousness of seizures and consciousness during seizures: Are they related?

Kamil Detyniecki, Hal Blumenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Recent advances have been made in the network mechanisms underlying impairment of consciousness during seizures. However, less is known about patient awareness of their own seizures. Studying patient reports or documentation of their seizures is currently the most commonly utilized mechanism to scientifically measure patient awareness of seizures. The purpose of this review is to summarize the available evidence regarding the accuracy of patient seizure counts and identify the variables that may influence unreliable seizure reporting. Several groups looking at patient documentation of seizures during continuous EEG monitoring show that patients do not report as many as 50% of their seizures. These studies also suggest that seizures accompanied by loss of consciousness, arising from the left hemisphere or the temporal lobe, or occurring during sleep are associated with significantly reduced reporting. Baseline memory performance does not appear to have a major influence on the accuracy of seizure report.Further prospective studies using validated ictal behavioral testing as well as using correlation with newer electrophysiological and neuroimaging techniques for seizure localization are needed to more fully understand the mechanisms of underreporting of seizures.Better methods to alert caregivers about unrecognized seizures and to improve seizure documentation are under investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-9
Number of pages4
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Awareness
  • Consciousness
  • Counts
  • Epilepsy
  • Report
  • Seizure diary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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