Task Force On Classification
and Terminology Commission Members
|Jerome Engel, Jr., Chair
Buenos Aires, Argentina
New Hampshire, USA
This task force was created to review the international classification
for seizures and for epilepsies, and to recommend changes.
Achievements prior to July 2003
Blume WT, Lüders HO, Mizrahi E, Tassinari C, van Emde Boas
W, Engel J Jr. Glossary of descriptive terminology for ictal semiology:
Report of the ILAE Task Force on Classification and Terminology. Epilepsia 42:1212-1218, 2001.
Engel J Jr. Classifications of the International League Against
Epilepsy: time for reappraisal. Epilepsia 39:1014-1017, 1998.
Engel J Jr. Classification of epileptic disorders. Epilepsia 42:316,
Engel J Jr. Commentary on: Blume WT, Lüders HO, Mizrahi E,
Tassinari C, van Emde Boas W, Engel J Jr. Glossary of descriptive
terminology for ictal semiology. Epilepsia 42:1211, 2001.
Engel J Jr. A proposed diagnostic scheme for people with epileptic
seizures and with epilepsy: Report of the ILAE Task Force on Classification
and Terminology. Epilepsia 42:796-803, 2001.
Engel, J. Jr. Vorschlag für ein diagnostisches Schema für
Menschen mit epileptischen Anfällen und Epilepsien. Aktuelle
Neurologie 7:305-312, 2001.
Commission Activities July 31, 2003 to June 30, 2004
The core group has met several times and is
evaluating the lists of epilepsy seizure types and epilepsy syndromes
approved by the General Assembly in Buenos Aires in 2002. Although
the group is considering possible alternative systems for classification,
emphasis has been on validation of seizure types and epilepsy
syndromes and no new classification has yet been proposed. Because
the 1981 classification of epileptic seizure types, and the 1989
classification of epilepsy syndromes and epilepsies are generally
acceptable and workable, they will not be discarded unless, and
until, clearly better classifications have been devised, although
an update and periodic modifications to the classifications will
be recommended. At this time,
however, the Core Group has focused on establishing scientifically
rigorous criteria for identification of specific epilepsy seizure
types and specific epilepsy syndromes as unique diagnostic entities,
and is considering the use of an evidence-based approach.
Avanzini G. Of cabbages and kings –
Do we really need a systematic classification of
epilepsies? Epilepsia 44:12-13,
Berg AT, Blackstone NW. Of cabbages and kings. Perspectives on
classification from the field of
systematics. Epilepsia 44:8-12, 2003.
Engel J Jr. Reply to “Of cabbages and kings. Some considerations
diagnostic schemes, semiology, and concepts.” Epilepsia 44:4-6,
Fisher RS. Editor’s introduction: Cabbages and kings in
the classification of seizures and the epilepsies. Epilepsia 44:1,
Lüders H, Najm I, Wyllie E. Reply to “Of cabbages and
kings. Some considerations on classifications, diagnostic schemes,
semiology, and concepts.” Epilepsia 44:6-8, 2003.
Wolf P. Of cabbages and kings. Some considerations on classifications,
diagnostic schemes, semiology, and concepts. Epilepsia 44:1-4,
A final list of seizure types and syndromes will be presented
to the ILAE Executive Committee for approval as testable working
hypotheses, subject to verification, falsification, and revision.
If sufficient evidence subsequently becomes available to falsify
any hypothesis, the seizure type or syndrome will be reevaluated
and revised or discarded, with Executive Committee approval. The
recognition of specific seizure types and syndromes, as well as
any changes in the classification of seizure types and syndromes,
therefore, will continue to be an ongoing dynamic process.
Jerome Engel, Jr.