Study reviews epilepsy and driving accidents

Drivers in Arizona who drove three months after an epileptic seizure did not have more seizure-related crashes compared with those who waited one year before driving, say researchers in the July issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

They say the results of crash studies should prompt additional research into the length of time drivers should be seizure-free before being allowed to drive.

"Our study suggests that reducing the seizure-free interval from 12 to three months did not produce a significant increase in total crashes, crashes per mile driven and crashes per estimated driver with epilepsy," says Dr. Joseph Drazkowski, a neurologist at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., who was the lead author.

In 1994, Arizona reduced the "seizure-free interval" from 12 months to three months, which allowed researchers to review state motor-vehicle crash data three years before and three years after the law change.

Epilepsy consists of unpredictable, recurrent episodes of loss of sensory motor control or consciousness.

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