The purpose of this addition to the ABC series is to provide a source of up-to-date information to enhance and broaden the management of a complex and challenging condition. Most current epilepsy texts have taken a predominantly biomedical perspective aimed at the specialist, but of less relevance to generalists involved in the management of people with epilepsy.
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We have addressed this gap by providing a practical approach to care throughout the patient pathway. As a first step, it is critical to ensure that the diagnosis is correct and complete. Drug treatment should then be matched to the type of epilepsy and to the patient. However, there are other treatment modalities, and it is important to identify which people are suitable for these. Most importantly, the condition should be reviewed in a timely and supportive way. Epilepsy management is not just related to seizures, but encompasses numerous psychosocial challenges, which are often neglected.
Patients need to be fully informed so that they can share in management decisions with clinicians to ease the burden of living with the condition. This book is aimed at non-specialist physicians, general practitioners, practice and community nurses, clinicians in Accident and Emergency departments, doctors and nurses in training and those involved with the social aspects of care which is so important to many of those with epilepsy. The editors have substantial experience in different aspects of care: one is an academic general practitioner with an interest in the condition who chaired the first NICE guideline group and was foundation chair of the UK International League against Epilepsy GP Society, and the other an academic neurologist with an international reputation in the field of translational epilepsy research and the management of people with drug resistant epilepsy. The editors would like to record their thanks for expert contributions from other epilepsy specialists, epilepsy nurses and the voluntary sector. Thanks are also due to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence for allowing us to use NICE Guideline CG20 as a resource that underpins much of this book. Lastly we would like to thank Adam Gilbert (Commissioning Editor) and Kate Newell (Senior Development Editor) at Wiley Blackwell for their guidance and patience in the conception and delivery of this book.
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