Critique of the 2017 epileptic seizure and epilepsy classifications

Hans Lüders*, Naoki Akamatsu, Shahram Amina, Christoph Baumgartner, Selim Benbadis, Adriana Bermeo-Ovalle, Andrew Bleasel, Alireza Bozorgi, Mar Carreño, Michael Devereaux, Guadalupe Fernandez-Baca Vaca, Stefano Francione, Naiara García Losarcos, Hajo Hamer, Hans Holthausen, Shirin Jamal Omidi, Giridhar Kalamangalam, Andrés Kanner, Susanne Knake, Nuria LacueySamden Lhatoo, Shih Hui Lim, Jayanthi Mani, Riki Matsumoto, Jonathan Miller, Soheyl Noachtar, André Palmini, Jun Park, Felix Rosenow, Asim Shahid, Stephan Schuele, Bernhard Steinhoff, Charles Ákos Szabo, Nitin Tandon, Kiyohito Terada, Walter Van Emde Boas, Peter Widdess-Walsh, Philippe Kahane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


This article critiques the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) 2015-2017 classifications of epilepsy, epileptic seizures, and status epilepticus. It points out the following shortcomings of the ILAE classifications: (1) they mix semiological terms with epileptogenic zone terminology; (2) simple and widely accepted terminology has been replaced by complex terminology containing less information; (3) seizure evolution cannot be described in any detail; (4) in the four-level epilepsy classification, level two (epilepsy category) overlaps almost 100% with diagnostic level one (seizure type); and (5) the design of different classifications with distinct frameworks for newborns, adults, and patients in status epilepticus is confusing. The authors stress the importance of validating the new ILAE classifications and feel that the decision of Epilepsia to accept only manuscripts that use the ILAE classifications is premature and regrettable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1032-1039
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • classification
  • epileptogenic zone
  • etiology
  • semiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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