Anti-seizure medications (ASMs) fail to prevent seizure recurrence in more than 30% of patients with epilepsy. The treatment is more difficult in premenopausal women with epilepsy (WWE) because changes in plasma estrogen and progesterone concentrations during the menstrual cycle often affect seizure frequency and intensity. Interactions between enzyme-inducin ASMs and hormonal contraceptives can lead to both a loss of seizure control and failure of contraception. Significant changes in the function of the liver and kidneys during pregnancy can accelerate metabolism and elimination of ASMs, causing breakthrough seizures. In addition, the teratogenic, cognitive, and psychological effects of ASMs on potential offspring have to be considered when choosing the best ASM regimen. Therefore, aspecialized approach is necessary for the treatment of premenopausal WWE.
Background and Purpose: Solitary calcified neurocysticercosis (NCC) on the computed tomography (CT) scan of brain in patients of epilepsy is common finding in endemic regions. Factors causing seizures in such cases are debatable. Immature calcification may be the causative factor for seizure recurrence. Thus, we aimed to study predictors of seizure recurrence specific to morphological characteristics on CT scan.Methods: Patients with solitary calcified NCC on CT scan brain and active seizures were prospectively included. The protocol included clinical evaluation, contrast-enhanced CT scan of the brain, and electroencephalogram (EEG) at baseline and 9th month of 1-year follow-up in all patients. Seizure recurrence after 1 week of enrolment was recorded.Results: One hundred twenty patients with a mean age of 23.33±12.81 years were included with a final follow-up of 109 patients and 35 patients had seizure recurrence. On univariate analysis, seizure frequency of more than 1 episode/month (45.7% vs. 25.7%, p=0.037; odds ratio [OR], 2.06; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05-5.68), perilesional edema on CT head (45% vs. 10.8%, p<0.001; OR, 6.95; 95% CI, 2.58-18.7), lower density (HU) of lesion on CT head (139.85±76.54 vs. 204.67±135.9 HU p=0.009) and abnormal EEG at presentation (p<0.001; OR, 18.25; 95% CI, 2.15-155.13) were significantly associated with seizure recurrence. On multivariate analysis, presence of perilesional edema on CT head (p=0.001; OR, 6.854; 95% CI, 2.26-20.77), density of lesion on CT (HU) (p=0.036; OR, 0.995; 95% CI, 0.99-1) and abnormal EEG (p=0.029; OR, 12.125; 95% CI, 1.29-113.74) were independently associated with seizure recurrence.Conclusions: The presence of perilesional edema, HU of calcification on CT brain, and abnormal EEG suggest an increased risk of seizure recurrence in patients of epilepsy with solitary calcified NCC.
ObjectiveTo update a 1996 American Academy of Neurology practice parameter.MethodsThe authors systematically reviewed literature published from January 1991 to March 2020.ResultsThe long-term (24–60 months) risk of seizure recurrence is possibly higher among adults who have been seizure-free for 2 years and taper antiseizure medications (ASMs) vs those who do not taper ASMs (15% vs 7% per the 1 Class I article addressing this issue). In pediatric patients, there is probably no significant difference in seizure recurrence between those who begin tapering ASMs after 2 years vs 4 years of seizure freedom, and there is insufficient evidence of significant difference in risk of seizure recurrence between those who taper ASMs after 18 months of seizure freedom and those tapering after 24 months. There is insufficient evidence that the rate of seizure recurrence with ASM withdrawal following epilepsy surgery after 1 year of seizure freedom vs after 4 years is not significantly different than maintaining patients on ASMs. An epileptiform EEG in pediatric patients increases the risk of seizure recurrence. ASM withdrawal possibly does not increase the risk of status epilepticus in adults. In seizure-free adults, ASM weaning possibly does not change quality of life. Withdrawal of ASMs at 25% every 10 days to 2 weeks is probably not significantly different from withdrawal at 25% every 2 months in children who are seizure-free in more than 4 years of follow-up.RecommendationsFourteen recommendations were developed.
Tailored surgery to extensively resect epileptogenic lesions using intraoperative electrocorticography (ioECoG) may improve seizure outcomes. However, resection of large areas is associated with decreased memory function postoperatively. The authors assessed whether ioECoG could provide useful information on how to minimize the focus resection and obtain better seizure outcomes without memory deterioration. They examined the postoperative seizure-free period and memory alteration in a retrospective cohort of patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) due to hippocampal sclerosis (HS) in whom the extent of removal was determined using ioECoG findings.
The authors enrolled 82 patients with TLE associated with HS who were treated surgically. Transsylvian amygdalohippocampectomy was indicated as the first step. When visual inspection identified interictal epileptic discharges from the lateral temporal lobe on ioECoG, anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) was eventually performed. The patients were divided into the selective amygdalohippocampectomy (SA, n = 40) and ATL (n = 42) groups. Postoperative seizure outcomes were assessed at 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 years postoperatively using the International League Against Epilepsy classification. The Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was applied to evaluate the period of seizure recurrence between the SA and ATL groups. Factors attributed to seizure recurrence were analyzed using the Cox proportional hazards model, and they were as follows: epileptic focal laterality; age at seizure onset (< 10 or ≥ 10 years old); seizure frequency (more than weekly or less than weekly seizures); history of focal to bilateral tonic-clonic seizure; infectious etiology; and surgical procedure. The Wechsler Memory Scale–Revised was used to evaluate memory function pre- and postoperatively.
Seizure outcomes were significantly worse in the SA group than in the ATL group at 2 years postoperatively (p = 0.045). The International League Against Epilepsy class 1 outcomes at 7 years postoperatively in the SA and ATL groups were 63% and 81%, respectively. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that seizure recurred significantly earlier in the SA group than in the ATL group (p = 0.031). The 2-way ANOVA analysis was used to compare the SA and ATL groups in each memory category, and revealed that there was no significant difference regardless of the side of surgery.
Visual assessment of ioECoG cannot be used as an indicator to minimize epileptic focus resection in patients with TLE associated with HS. ATL is more effective in obtaining seizure-free outcomes; however, both ATL and SA can preserve memory function.
Objective: To investigate whether emerging depressive and anxiety symptoms are predictors of seizure recurrence in a cohort of patients with newly diagnosed epilepsy (PWNDE) who did not have a history of psychiatric diagnosis.Methods: A cohort of 283 PWNDE were psychiatrically assessed before antiseizure medication (ASM) therapy and were followed for 12 months to assess seizure recurrence. The influence of depressive and anxiety symptoms score on seizure recurrence was assessed using univariate and multivariate binary logistic regression analysis. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was utilized.Results: A total of 283 individuals were included in final analysis, and 115 patients (40.6%) experienced seizure recurrence during follow-up. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, NDDI-E and GAD-7 score were associated with an increased risk of seizure recurrence with an adjusted OR of 1.360 (CI: 1.176–1.572; P < 0.001) and 1.101 (CI: 1.004–1.209; P = 0.041), respectively. Additionally, the adjusted OR and 95% CI of seizure recurrence for the “high NDDI-E score and high GAD-7 score” vs. “not high NDDI-E score and not high GAD-7 score” was 7.059 (3.521–14.149) (P for trend < 0.001).Conclusion: We found that an emergence of new psychiatric symptoms including depressive and anxiety symptoms were predictors of seizure recurrence in adults with newly diagnosed epilepsy who did not have psychiatric history.
Limited information is available on the long-term follow-up and seizure recurrence in dogs with reactive seizures due to suspected exogenous toxicity. The purpose of this study was to report the long-term follow-up of 13 dogs referred to a single referral hospital, diagnosed with reactive seizures and treated with a standardized levetiracetam protocol. All dogs received a loading levetiracetam dose of 60 mg/kg/IV once, followed by a maintenance dose of 20 mg/kg every 8 h as part of an open-label clinical study. Levetiracetam was withdrawn after a 6-months seizure-free period by reducing levetiracetam to 20 mg/kg every 12 h for a 4-week seizure-free period, followed by levetiracetam 20 mg/kg every 24 h for a 4-week seizure-free period, before levetiracetam treatment was stopped. No adverse effects of the treatment were reported. No dogs experienced any seizures after discharge or after levetiracetam withdrawal. Median follow-up time from time of discharge was of 78 months (=6 years 6 months). The result of this study supports the use of levetiracetam for treatment of reactive seizures due to exogenous substance intoxication. Moreover, our results do not support the need for long-term antiepileptic treatment in cases of reactive seizures due to exogenous intoxication.
Patients who experience harms from alcohol and other substance use often seek care in the emergency department (ED). ED visits related to alcohol withdrawal have increased across the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. ED clinicians are responsible for risk-stratifying patients under time and resource constraints and must reliably identify those who are safe for outpatient management versus those who require more intensive levels of care. Published guidelines for alcohol withdrawal are largely limited to the primary care and outpatient settings, and do not provide specific guidance for ED use. The purpose of this review was to synthesize published evidence on the treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome in the ED.
We conducted a rapid review by searching MEDLINE, Embase, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (1980 to 2020). We searched for grey literature on Google and hand-searched the conference abstracts of relevant addiction medicine and emergency medicine professional associations (2015 to 2020). We included interventional and observational studies that reported outcomes of clinical interventions aimed at treating alcohol withdrawal syndrome in adults in the ED.
We identified 13 studies that met inclusion criteria for our review (7 randomized controlled trials and 6 observational studies). Most studies were at high/serious risk of bias. We divided studies based on intervention and summarized evidence narratively. Benzodiazepines decrease alcohol withdrawal seizure recurrence and treat other alcohol withdrawal symptoms, but no clear evidence supports the use of one benzodiazepine over another. It is unclear if symptom-triggered benzodiazepine protocols are effective for use in the ED. More evidence is needed to determine if phenobarbital, with or without benzodiazepines, can be used safely and effectively to treat alcohol withdrawal in the ED. Phenytoin does not have evidence of effectiveness at preventing withdrawal seizures in the ED.
Few studies have evaluated the safety and efficacy of pharmacotherapies for alcohol withdrawal specifically in the ED setting. Benzodiazepines are the most evidence-based treatment for alcohol withdrawal in the ED. Pharmacotherapies that have demonstrated benefit for treatment of alcohol withdrawal in other inpatient and outpatient settings should be evaluated in the ED setting before routine use.