Below is a list of selected sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) articles featured on or published elsewhere.

2016 Articles

A risk for Sudden Death in Epilepsy that Often Goes Unmentioned August 22, 2016 New York Times article discussing the problems with lack of disclosure for the risks of SUDEP.

Role of the Screening ECG in People with Epilepsy June 14, 2016 Looks at whether a routine screening, 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) could help identify people with epilepsy who are at risk for sudden cardiac death or myocardial infarction.

Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Institute Announces Winner for Second Challenge: 'EpSMon' Mobile App - Preventing Epilepsy Seizures March 2, 2016 Press release announcing challenge winners and the next challenge. 

The Search for Genetic Risk Factors for SUDEP February 22, 2016 Reviews the study of genetic risk factors for SUDEP and what we have learned.

2015 Articles

SUDEP and Pregnancy December 2, 2015 Discusses the risk of SUDEP during pregnancy. 

An Update from the Center for SUDEP Research November 15, 2015 Provides information about the Center for SUDEP Research and what its researchers are doing.

SUDEP and the Gene DEPDC5 November 15, 2015 Explains the recent research finding between Gene DEPDC5 and SUDEP as well as genetics and epilepsy.

Breathing Problems and SUDEP September 15, 2015 Summary of study by Brian Dlouhy, MD and colleagues  on how breathing is effected. Seizure-related respiratory dysfunction may play a critical role in the pathophysiology of SUDEP.

SUDEP Mechanisms July 20, 2015 Summary of recent research into how seizures can lead to heart and breathing failures that may cause SUDEP. This research may lead to new avenues for preventing SUDEP.

Iowa researchers gain important insight into sudden unexpected death in epilepsy July 16, 2015 Explains how by using electrical stimulation to activate the amygdala, a group of University of Iowa researchers identified areas of the human brain in which breathing is controlled and, in some cases, impaired, providing an important insight into SUDEP. 

Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Institute Offering More Than $1 Million in Prize Money for Challenge Winners June 11, 2015  Learn about  three prize challenges aimed to demystify seizures, empower People with epilepsy, and prevent SUDEP.

Inflammation and SUDEP April 29, 2015 Learn about the role of brain inflammation in cardiovascular consequences of seizures and its implications for SUDEP.

What is the Role of Body Position in SUDEP? March 4, 2015 Learn how body position while sleeping may influence the risk of SUDEP and steps you can take to minimize your risk.

The Relationship between Epilepsy and Premature Death in Children February 4, 2015 Several studies have found that children with epilepsy have a higher mortality rate, but the causes of death and contributing conditions are less well understood.

The Holidays are Over, Now Let's Unwrap our Grief January 13, 2015  This article offers some advice on how to handle grief after the holidays in a healthy manner.

2014 Articles

Coping with Holiday Grief December 2, 2014 An Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Institute grief therapist shares some words of advice to help cope during the holiday season.

SUDEP Awareness November 19, 2014 Learn how often people with epilepsy are made aware of the risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy and how they are finding out about SUDEP.

Upcoming Holidays: A Time for Cheers or Tears November 5, 2014 An Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Institute Grief Therapist shares some words of advice to help navigate the upcoming holiday season, especially if you have lost someone to seizures.

Expanding the Types of Genetic Mutations Involved in Shared Mechanisms of Epilepsy and Sudden Death October 30, 2014 A recent mouse study adds to the growing body of evidence showing that more gene mutations could be contributing to seizure and SUDEP risk.

Estimating the Incidence and Public Health Burden of SUDEP October 1, 2014 SUDEP editor Dr. Dan Friedman looks at how accurate estimates are for SUDEP rates and how researchers arrive at those numbers.

SUDEP Basic Science September 17, 2014 A summary of the Partners Against Mortality in Epilepsy Conference which focuses on the current research on potential causes of mortality in people with epilepsy, including respiratory issues, sleep, cardiac failure, and genetics.

Help for Families who have Lost Someone with Seizures July 24, 2014 Find out what help is available for people who have lost a loved one, and how you can get involved.

Using Special Pillows to Potentially Prevent SUDEP July 9, 2014 Newsletter Article. A recent study examined whether “anti-suffocation” pillows could theoretically prevent the build up of dangerous levels of carbon dioxide as a way to reduce SUDEP risk.

Epilepsy-related Deaths During Pregnancy May 28, 2014 Newsletter Article. Some epidemiological studies have suggested an increased risk of death during pregnancy among women with epilepsy compared to women without epilepsy.

SUDEP and Genetics May 7, 2014 Newsletter Article. Much of the research into the genetic risks of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy has focused on single gene mutations that give rise to risks for mortality. However, a recent study may move us beyond a search for a single gene as the cause.

SUDEP and the Burden of Sudden Death in the Young April 23, 2014 Newsletter Article. Learn about the huge growth in available information about SUDEP.

One Family’s Loss Spurs SUDEP Awareness February 19, 2014 Newsletter Article. Read about how a grieving family is working to help others with epilepsy.

How Do You Learn About SUDEP? February 12, 2014 Newsletter Article. Learn about the huge growth in available information about SUDEP.

SUDEP Surveillance? January 15, 2014 Newsletter Article. SUDEP Editor Dr. Daniel Friedman looks at efforts to fully understand SUDEP.

Seizures Can Stop The Heartbeat: Does This Cause SUDEP? January 8, 2014 Newsletter Article. Dr. Gena Ghearing explores this connection and calls for more study.

2013 Articles

SUDEP: The Need for Global Conversation November 21, 2013 Newsletter Article.  Learn about the need for increased awareness and discussion about SUDEP. 

Could Oxygen Starvation of the Brain Cause SUDEP? September 11, 2013 Newsletter Article. Learn about this potential cause of SUDEP.

Making Progress to Build Awareness for SUDEP September 4, 2013 The SUDEP Institute has made a lot of progress since being launched by the Epilepsy Foundation six months ago. Find out more about the current work of the Institute and future plans.

Electric Shutdown of the Brain: is it a cause of SUDEP? July 17, 2013 Newsletter Article. Learn about electric shutdown of the brain, and if it is a cause of sudden unexplained death in epilepsy.

Why is Animal Research Important in SUDEP? June 12, 2013 Newsletter article: Carl L. Faingold, PhD, looks at animal models of SUDEP that are vital to developing treatments

Talking about SUDEP May 15, 2013 Newsletter article: Resource Specialist, Patty Osborne Shafer RN, MN, looks at discussing the risk of SUDEP.

The SUDEP Institute: What Is It? Why is it Needed? May 8, 2013 Newsletter article. Elson L. So, MD, from the Mayo Clinic - Minnesota, looks at the SUDEP Institute, a big step forward in the fight against SUDEP.

2012 Articles

Prevention of SUDEP August 8, 2012 Newsletter article. Devinsky talks about SUDEP prevention.  Dr. Orrin Devinsky talks about SUDEP prevention.

Predicting Sudden Death from Epilepsy May 30, 2012 Newsletter article. Joseph Sirven, MD, Editor-in-Chief, presents a study looking at the effectiveness of using monitoring devices in predicting SUDEP.

Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy: Risk Factors March 2012 Newsletter article. In the February 2012 issue of the Journal, Epilepsia, there are two studies that address the risk factors of SUDEP. Both studies are important additions to our understanding of the issue of death and epilepsy.

Friedman D, Hirsh L Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy – An Overview of Current Understanding and Future Perspectives. European Neurological Review, 2012;7(1):67-71.

2011 Articles

Sudden, Unexpected Death in Epilepsy, Devinsky, O 

Adjunctive Anti-epileptic Drug Therapy and Prevention of SUDEP October 2011 Newsletter article. A meta-analysis of the impact of anti-epileptic drugs on the prevention of SUDEP.

Recently Published Results of U.S. Government-Sponsored Workshop on SUDEP July 2011 Newsletter article. Momentum against SUDEP results from a continuing effort by the scientific and the lay communities in finding ways to expand research and education in SUDEP. 

Who is at risk for SUDEP July 2011 Newsletter article: This research helps to further our knowledge of identifying individuals early who may be at risk for sudden death from seizures. 

Steve Wulchin Presents Testimony at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) meeting in D.C., June 28, 2011

SUDEP Recommendations May 2011 Spotlight Newsletter article. This report is essential reading for all professionals who deal with epilepsy. In this document we see the blueprint for future trials, future collaborations and the future education of both professionals and patients and their caregivers who have epilepsy. 

New Campaign to Shed Light on Epilepsy's Dark Secret May 13, 2011 release. Beginning today, the commitment to find some answers is strengthened - through the launch of a SUDEP awareness campaign. 

Building the Momentum Against SUDEP April 2011 Spotlight Newsletter article.There is clearly a mounting momentum against SUDEP in the last few years, which is urgently needed to address the many research, education, and counseling issues in SUDEP.

High SUDEP Rate in Some Persons with Childhood-Onset Epilepsy January 2011 Spotlight Newsletter article. (link) A commentary by Elson L. So, MD. The cause of SUDEP is still unknown, but Drs. Sillanpää and Shinnar's study reinforces the need to strive for seizure control as one current strategy for reducing SUDEP in persons with epilepsy.

SUDEP A Global Conversation 2005 book from Epilepsy Australia. Reprinted with the permission of Epilepsy Australia - the national coalition of Australian epilepsy associations and Epilepsy Bereaved UK.  

Combined Analysis of Risk Factors for SUDEP Hesdorffer, D., T. Tomson, et al. 

2010 Articles

SUDEP, VNS and the FDA November 2010 Spotlight Newsletter article. In a recent issue of the British Medical Journal, two journalists criticized the US Federal Drug Administration on it's lax oversight of safety of approved medical devices.

Unmasking Silent Killer in Epilepsy
 July 2010 New York Times article. Steve Wulchin discussing SUDEP -"there's no magic answer, but awareness."

A Preventable Cause of SUDEP Finally is Established March 2010 Newsletter Article. Baylor researchers find a gene linking heart irregularities with epilepsy, giving an important clue to the mechanism sudden unexpected death in epilepsy.

Articles Before 2010

Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy: risk factors and potential pathomechanisms Surges R, Thijs R, Tan H, Sander J.

Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy: current knowledge and future directions. Torbjörn T, Nashef L, Ryvlin P.

Sudden unexplained death in epilepsy: observations from a large clinical development program Leestma JE, Annegers JF, Brodie MJ, et al.

Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy; terminology and definitions Nashef L,


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The Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Institute is awarding more than $1 million for a series of at least three prize challenge competitions that work to build awareness for, predict and prevent SUDEP.  Learn more about the challenge series and register for the current challenge.