Subclinical hyperthyroidism and sudden unexpected death in epilepsy

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Scorza, Fulvio A. [UNIFESP]
Arida, Ricardo M. [UNIFESP]
Cysneiros, Roberta M.
Terra, Vera C.
Albuquerque, Manly de [UNIFESP]
Machado, Helio R.
Cavalheiro, Esper A. [UNIFESP]
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Epilepsy is the most common serious neurological condition and sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is the most important direct epilepsy-related cause of death. Information concerning risk factors for SUDEP is conflicting, but high seizure frequency is a potential risk factor. Additionally, potential pathomechanisms for SUDEP are unknown, but it is very probable that cardiac arrhythmias during and between seizures or transmission of epileptic activity to the heart via the autonomic nervous system potentially play a role. in parallel, several studies have shown a link between hormones and epilepsy. However, exact knowledge regarding the association of thyroid hormones and epilepsy is lacking. As subclinical hyperthyroidism has been linked with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, we propose in this paper that SUDEP, at least in some cases, could be related with subclinical thyroid dysfunction. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Medical Hypotheses. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, v. 74, n. 4, p. 692-694, 2010.