Classifying seizures and epilepsy: A synopsis

Joseph I. Sirven

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Seizures can have a number of clinical presentations. Epilepsy, the condition of recurrent unprovoked seizure, can also be categorized in a variety of ways and is associated with several conditions. Seizures and the epilepsies are classified most commonly by a system devised by the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) that employs clinical, electroencephalographic, and imaging data. The system has two broad divisions: focal and generalized for seizures and localization related and generalized for the epilepsies. This article surveys all seizure and epilepsy types according to the ILAE scheme. Limitations of the current categorization are discussed, and a recent new proposal for classifying seizures and epilepsy is demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-246
Number of pages10
JournalSeminars in Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2002


  • Classification
  • Epilepsy
  • Seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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