Sudden unexplained death in epilepsy: public lecture on 29 Oct 2020

1 minute read

A group of young men and women playing soccer in a desert carpark

A public lecture will explore sudden unexplained death in epilepsy – the most common epilepsy-related cause of premature death.

Professor Terry O’Brien will present ‘Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy: How translational research is finding answers’ on Thursday 29 October via Zoom.

Uncontrolled epileptic seizures can cause death by disrupting heart and lung function. Exactly how this happens is the topic of Professor O’Brien’s research. In his lecture, he will describe evidence-based interventions that are being developed to reduce the risk of sudden unexplained death in people with epilepsy.

Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy – known as ‘SUDEP’ – is death that cannot be attributed to another disease, injury or accident (such as drowning). SUDEP is the most common epilepsy-related cause of premature death.

Young people with epilepsy are up to 40 times more likely to die suddenly than people of the same age who don’t have epilepsy. Around 150 000 people in Australia live with active epilepsy. An estimated 50–100 of them die from SUDEP each year.

Professor O’Brien is a specialist in neurology and clinical pharmacology at Monash University and Alfred Health. He is part of the Australian Epilepsy Project, and he has an honorary position at the University of Melbourne.

The lecture is part of a series of public lectures presented each year by Monash University’s Central Clinical School.

Join the online lecture

The lecture will be at 6–7pm (AEST) on Thursday 29 October. This includes 45 minutes for the lecture, and 15 minutes for questions and answers.

The lecture is free and open to the public. It will be held online using Zoom.

Register to attend

Find out more

To find out more about Prof. O’Brien’s lecture, visit the 2020 Central Clinical School Public Lecture website or email

Related items