Study indicates the factors that cause delays in diagnosing new-onset epilepsy

A recent study led by the University of Melbourne in Australia has indicated certain contributing factors that can delay a patient with new-onset epilepsy being diagnosed.

Approximately 50 per cent of patients that are tested for epileptic seizures also claim to have experienced prior events that they believe were linked with the condition, which means that delays in diagnosis are commonplace.

However, in order to help highlight exactly how many people face an unnecessary diagnosis delay, the researchers in Australia carried out a retrospective analysis of 220 patients.

Those included in the study received their official diagnosis at Australia’s First Seizure Clinic between 2003 and 2006, and their full medical records and epilepsy assessment records were studied, as well as observations from friends and family.

After analysing the results, the researchers found that 41 per cent of patients had experienced one or more events related to their condition before receiving a professional assessment or diagnosis.

Furthermore, half of the aforementioned group actually experienced multiple prior events, with 28 per cent experiencing one or more convulsive events.

Out of the whole group, 36 per cent had to wait for more than four weeks before a medical expert first noticed their symptoms while 21 per cent waited longer than six months.

A period of two years or more in diagnosis delay was experienced by 14 per cent of the study group.

After reviewing aspects such as socio-economic background and career, the study found that people from poorer backgrounds were at a higher risk of a diagnosis delay.

More information about the study is available in the medical journal Epilepsia.

Share this article:Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn