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Classification and Terminology

Task Force On Classification and Terminology  Commission Members

Jerome Engel, Jr., Chair
California, USA

Frederick Andermann
Quebec, Canada

Giuliano Avanzini
Milan, Italy
Anne Berg
Illinois, USA
Samuel Berkovic
Melbourne, Australia
Warren Blume
Ontario, Canada
Olivier Dulac
Paris, France
Natalio Fejerman
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hans Lüders
Ohio, USA
Masakazu Seino
Shizuoka, Japan
Peter Williamson
New Hampshire, USA
Peter Wolf
Copenhagen, Denmark


This Taskforce was created to review the international classification for seizures and for epilepsies, and to recommend changes.

Commission Activities June 30, 2004 until August 31, 2005

The Classification Core Group met for the last time in Los Angeles 28-29 May 2005. Considerable progress was made in revising the Taskforce report and devising approaches for categorizing epileptic seizures and epilepsy syndromes. Subsequently, a final report was accepted by the Executive Committee and published in Epilepsia. It is important to recognize that the contents of this report do not represent a new classification, and that the 1981 Classification of Epileptic Seizure Types and the 1989 Classification of Epilepsy Syndromes will not be discarded unless, and until, clearly better classifications have been devised, although periodic modifications to the current classifications have been suggested. The new report has focused on establishing scientifically rigorous criteria for identification of specific epileptic seizure types and specific epilepsy syndromes as unique diagnostic entities, and plans for an evidence-based approach for future validation are outlined. The list of seizure types and syndromes included in this report should be considered as testable working hypotheses, subject to verification, falsification, and revision. If sufficient evidence subsequently becomes available to disprove any hypothesis, the seizure type or syndrome will be reevaluated and revised or discarded, with Executive Committee approval. This, therefore, represents an ongoing dynamic process, and a major purpose of this approach is to identify research necessary to clarify remaining issues of uncertainty, and to pave the way for new classifications. This is the final report of the Core Group of the Taskforce on Classification and Terminology, which completed its work in December 2005. A new Commission on Classification, chaired by Anne Berg, was formed in January 2006 and will continue these efforts.

Jerome Engel, Jr.

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