Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy: This rare disorder is a call to arms for doctors and patients to control seizures

John Travolta's 16-year-old son, Jett, who suffered from uncontrolled seizures, died suddenly on Jan. 2, 2009, while on vacation with his family in the Bahamas. After an autopsy, “seizure” was listed as the cause of death. Later that year, in another heart-wrenching case, Steve Wulchin went to wake his 19-year-old son, Eric, and found him lying on the floor of their home in Boulder, CO. Eric, whose last seizure was six months before, had died unexpectedly during the night.

These two high-profile cases have heightened public awareness of sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP), a rare disorder responsible for 2 percent to 18 percent of deaths in people with epilepsy... (cont)


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