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Non-convulsive status epilepticus
  1. D Audenino1,
  2. L Cocito1,
  3. A Primavera1
  1. 1Department of Neurosciences, University of Genova, via De Toni 5, Genova 16132, Italy
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Daniela Audenino;

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In a recent article, Husain et al argue that severely impaired mental state, ocular movement abnormalities, and the patient’s history could suggest a diagnosis of non-convulsive status epilepticus (NCSE), and then be a selection criterion for patients with impaired consciousness to undergo an urgent EEG recording.1 However, our experience with 50 adult patients (12 men and 38 women, mean age 65.9 years) meeting the criteria for the diagnosis of NCSE2 suggests that there are no peculiar clinical features characteristic of this condition. Twenty eight patients had absence status, 16 had complex partial status, and six had aphasic status; 11 had tonic-clonic seizures just before the onset of status, and eight had a history of chronic epilepsy. The main clinical presentation of NCSE was aphasia (six patients), mutacism (two patients), psychiatric disturbances (four patients), delirium (34 patients), and stupor or coma (four patients). We feel therefore that all acute alterations of mental state or changes in behaviour from …

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