Seizures versus Epilepsy and Late Effects of Stroke


Although the two terms “epilepsy” and “seizures” are often used interchangeably, a seizure is different than epilepsy. Epilepsy is one of the most common disorders of the nervous system and affects people of all ages, races and ethnic backgrounds. Accurately diagnosing epilepsy is challenging and in some cases, there may be no detectable cause.

This activity will highlight the differences, risk factors and causes for seizures and epilepsy, and will identify the antiseizure medications that should be considered when treating individuals with these conditions. Faculty will also discuss the criteria that define a refractory patient and explain when it is appropriate to refer a patient to an epilepsy center.

Provided By
This activity is provided by OptumHealth Education.

Commercial Support
This activity is supported by OptumCare.

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Target Audience

This activity is designed to meet the educational needs of physicians, coders and other health care professionals interested in improving the care of individuals with neurologic conditions.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the difference between a seizure and epilepsy.
  • State the terminology used for seizures and epilepsy.
  • Discuss risk factors for recurrent seizures and uncontrolled epilepsy.
  • Name the most frequent causes of epilepsy in adults.
  • Identify the antiseizure medications that should be considered when treating individuals for seizures.
  • Explain the criteria that define a refractory patient and when to refer a patient to an epilepsy center.
Activity summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AAPC - Coders
  • 1.00 AMA - Physicians
  • 1.00 Attendance - General Attendance
Activity opens: 
Activity expires: 


Patricia E. Penovich, MD

  Patricia E. Penovich, MD
  Adjunct Clinical Professor of Neurology
  University of Minnesota
  Minnesota Epilepsy Group
  St Paul, MN

About the presenter
Patricia E. Penovich, MD received her Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from the College of Wooster in Wooster, OH. At Case Western Reserve University, she did graduate work in pharmacology and received her medical degree. At the University of Rochester, Dr. Penovich completed her neurology residency and a fellowship in clinical pharmacology. She completed additional training in electroencephalography and epilepsy at the University of Rochester and the University of Minnesota and recently completed the advanced training program at Intermountain Health.

Dr. Penovich is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) in Neurology and Clinical Psychiatry and is certified by the American Board of Clinical Neurophysiology in Clinical Neurophysiology. She was an examiner and is involved in test development for the ABPN.

Dr. Penovich is currently an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Neurology at the University of Minnesota, an adult epilepsy physician at the Minnesota Epilepsy Group and is also the Bentson Chair of Neuroscience for the John Nassef Neuroscience Institute at Allina Health. She has published in the areas of clinical neurology, neuropharmacology and epilepsy. Her research interests include investigational medications for the treatment of epilepsy, epilepsy occurring in women of childbearing age, and pregnancy outcomes in women with epilepsy. Dr. Penovich was a board member and Chair of the Conference Committee of the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota from 2003-2007 and currently serves on their Professional Advisory Board.

Sarah Chart, RN
Senior Director
OptumHealth Education
Eden Prairie, MN

Rebecca Gleason, RN, CCM
Activity Manager
OptumHealth Education
Eden Prairie, MN

Tania M. Miedico, MD
Medical Director
Clinical Performance, OptumCare
Eden Prairie, MN

Disclosures of relevant financial relationships
In accordance with the ACCME Standards for Commercial SupportSM, OptumHealth Education (OHE) requires all those involved in the development of activity content to disclose their relevant financial relationships. An individual has a relevant financial relationship if such person (or his/her spouse/partner) has a financial relationship in any amount occurring in the last 12 months with a commercial interest. OHE ensures that the content is independent of commercial bias.

Ms. Chart and Ms. Gleason have indicated that they are employees of and own stock in UnitedHealth Group.
Dr. Penovich has indicated that she is on the speaker’s bureau for Eisai Co., Ltd.; Lundbeck; Sunovion and VEB Pharma.
The remaining activity faculty or planners have no financial relationships to disclose.

Method for calculating CE credit
CE credit was calculated by the complexity of content.

Accreditation Statement
Joint Accreditation LogoIn support of improving patient care, OptumHealth Education is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the health care team.

Credit Designation Statements
Nurse Practitioners
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME and ANCC.

OptumHealth Education designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

AAPC-Certified Coders
This program meets AAPC guidelines for 1.0 CEU. Can be used for Core A, CANPC and CHONC with successful completion of post-test for continuing education units.

A certificate of attendance will be provided to learners upon completion of activity requirements, enabling participants to register with licensing boards or associations that have not been pre-approved for credits. To apply for credit types not listed above, participants should use the procedure established by the specific organization with which they wish to obtain credit.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AAPC - Coders
  • 1.00 AMA - Physicians
  • 1.00 Attendance - General Attendance
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