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Classification, Clinical Symptoms, and Syndromes 

Classification, Clinical Symptoms, and Syndromes
Classification, Clinical Symptoms, and Syndromes

Renzo Guerrini

and Carmen Barba

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date: 30 June 2022

The classification of the epilepsies and of epilepsy syndromes has been a topic of much concern and controversy for decades. In 1981 the ILAE Commission on Classification and Terminology proposed an International Classification of Epileptic Seizures. The 1989 Classification of Epilepsies and Epileptic Syndromes was conceived as a tool for characterizing epilepsies as different conditions and diseases responsible for seizure recurrence. A syndrome was considered as a group of signs and symptoms customarily occurring in association, including seizure types, clinical background, neurophysiological and neuroimaging findings and outcome. In 2001 the ILAE Task Force on Classification and Terminology proposed a ‘new diagnostic scheme for people with epileptic seizures and with epilepsy’. In 2006, the ILAE Task Force on Classification and Terminology suggested new criteria for the identification of specific seizure types and epilepsy syndromes. Various suggestions for amending to the list of syndromes and revising terms and concepts of the 1989 Classification were proposed in 2010. These Commission proposals prompted abundant controversies. As concluded in the Commission report, current knowledge is not yet adequate to propose a new Classification of the epilepsies. We describe the main symptom categories and epileptic syndromes as listed in the 1989 Classification and revised in the 2001 and 2006 Task force reports, however introducing the most relevant amongst the most recently formulated concepts.

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