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No link between alcoholism and symptomatic epilepsy

18 December, 2002

A new report, published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, suggests that there is no link between alcohol consumption and a first symptomatic seizure.

Researchers in a multi-centre study in Italy identified that the risk of a first seizure in alcoholics was no higher than in non-alcoholics.

Symptomatic seizures are where doctors can identify the cause of the seizures.

Previous studies showed that a 'binge' on alcohol can cause a seizure, even in people who do not have epilepsy, and that some people who continue to drink large quantities of alcohol and who experience further seizures are quite likely to develop epilepsy as a result of this.

If alcohol consumption is stopped altogether, the seizures may continue to happen unless anti-epileptic medication is introduced and seizure control gained.