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    Site: Epilepsia

  • IL-1? associations with posttraumatic epilepsy development: A genetics and biomarker cohort study
    Objective Posttraumatic epilepsy (PTE) is a significant complication following traumatic brain injury (TBI), yet the role of genetic variation in modulating PTE onset is unclear. We hypothesized that TBI-induced inflammation likely contributes to seizure development. We assessed whether genetic variation in the interleukin-1beta (IL-1?) gene, IL-1? levels in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum, and CSF/serum IL-1? ratios would predict PTE development post-TBI. Methods We investigated PTE development in 256 Caucasian adults with moderate-to-severe TBI. IL-1? tagging and functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped. Genetic variance and PTE development were assessed. Serum and CSF IL-1? levels were collected from a subset of subjects (n = 59) during the first week postinjury and evaluated for their associations with IL-1? gene variants, and also PTE. Temporally matched CSF/serum IL-1? ratios were also generated to reflect the relative contribution of serum IL-1? to CSF IL-1?. Results Multivariate analysis showed that higher CSF/serum IL-1? ratios were associated with increased risk for PTE over time (p = 0.008). Multivariate analysis for rs1143634 revealed an association between the CT genotype and increased PTE risk over time (p = 0.005). The CT genotype group also had lower serum IL-1? levels (p = 0.014) and higher IL-1? CSF/serum ratios (p = 0.093). Significance This is the first report implicating IL-1? gene variability in PTE risk and linking (1) IL-1? gene variation with serum IL-1? levels observed after TBI and (2) IL-1? ratios with PTE risk. Given these findings, we propose that genetic and IL-1? ratio associations with PTE may be attributable to biologic variability with blood?brain barrier integrity during TBI recovery. These results provide a rationale for further studies (1) validating the impact of genetic variability on IL-1? production after TBI, (2) assessing genetically mediated signaling mechanisms that contribute to IL-1? CSF/serum associations with PTE, and (3) evaluating targeted IL-1? therapies that reduce PTE. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Visual function and compensatory mechanisms for hemianopia after hemispherectomy in children
    Objective Little is known about the functional visual outcome of children after hemispherectomy. Several case reports have described an anomalous head posture (AHP) and exotropia (XT) contralateral to the side of early brain damage, as possible compensatory mechanisms (CMs) for homonymous hemianopia (HH). The aim of this study was to determine visual outcome and the prevalence of such CMs in hemispherectomized children. Methods Patient files from all children who underwent hemispherectomy and had a postoperative ophthalmologic examination in the University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht up to October 2012 were retrospectively reviewed. Preoperative and postoperative clinical information on visual fixation, visual acuity, visual fields, optic discs, head posturing, ocular alignment, and cognitive development was collected. Clinical characteristics were compared between children who developed CMs and those who did not. Results Forty-five children (21 male) underwent a hemispherectomy (22 right) at a median age of 2.1 years. Median ophthalmologic follow-up was 2.3 years. After hemispherectomy, visual fixation was present in all children, and 87% of the examined children had a normal visual acuity or a mild visual impairment. All children who underwent a visual field measurement had an HH. Anomalous head posturing and continuous or intermittent XT contralateral to the side of hemispherectomy were found in 53% and 38% of children, respectively. Children with CMs had more frequently right-sided surgery and earlier onset of epilepsy, and they tended to be younger when they underwent hemispherectomy than children without. Significance Despite HH, the majority of children who undergo hemispherectomy have a good visual outcome. Furthermore, they frequently develop AHP and continuous or intermittent XT contralateral to the hemispherectomy as part of a coping strategy to optimize the functional visual field. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Genotype/phenotype in tuberous sclerosis complex: Associations with clinical and radiologic manifestations
    Objectives Patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) frequently have autism spectrum disorders and neuropsychiatric disorders. Subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (SEGAs) have been reported to occur in 5?20% of patients with TSC; however, the relationship between SEGAs and neuropsychiatric disorders in TSC remains unknown. We utilized a large multicenter database to study associations between SEGAs and neuropsychiatric disorders in patients with TSC. Methods Associations between the presence of SEGAs and neuropsychiatric disorders were examined in a retrospective review of 916 patients enrolled in the TSC Natural History Database Project (Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance). Results Among the 916 TSC patients, 226 had SEGAs (25%) and 155 had autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (17%). Compared to patients without SEGAs, patients with SEGAs were 1.83 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.26?2.66) times more likely to have ASD. No significant relationship was found between SEGAs and intellectual disability, attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder, or major depressive disorder. Significance The clinical presentation of TSC is highly variable and not well understood. These data show that SEGAs are associated with ASD in patients with TSC, suggesting that the pathologic changes leading to SEGA formation may also predispose patients to ASD. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • SUDEP and epilepsy-related mortality in pregnancy
    Although data are limited, research in 2004 estimated a 10-fold increase in mortality in pregnancy in the United Kingdom in women with epilepsy (WWE) compared to women without epilepsy. We highlight epilepsy mortality in pregnancy based on the 2011 report of the United Kingdom Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths, relating its findings to previous reports and epilepsy-rates in pregnancy. Among 2,291,493 maternities (2006?2008), we estimated 0.6% or 13,978 were in WWE. Fourteen deaths were epilepsy-related, of which 11 (79%) were sudden and unexpected (SUDEP). Nine occurred during pregnancy and five were postpartum. Nine (64%) were in women taking lamotrigine, seven as monotherapy. We estimated that 1:1,000 women died from epilepsy (mostly SUDEP) during or shortly after pregnancy. Epilepsy-related mortality is a significant risk in pregnancy. Antiepileptic drug?related factors may be relevant. The high proportion of women taking lamotrigine may reflect United Kingdom prescribing practice. Recent observations from the European and International Registry of Antiepileptic Drugs and Pregnancy (EURAP), whereby women on lamotrigine, the levels of which significantly decrease in pregnancy, had more difficulties with epilepsy control, argue against this being the sole explanation. Given the potential risks, every attempt should be made to prevent seizures, particularly convulsive, during pregnancy and postpartum. This, we believe, includes being proactive in maintaining lamotrigine levels during pregnancy. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • The long-term effect of vagus nerve stimulation on quality of life in patients with pharmacoresistant focal epilepsy: The PuLsE (Open Prospective Randomized Long-term Effectiveness) trial
    Objective To evaluate whether vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) as adjunct to best medical practice (VNS + BMP) is superior to BMP alone in improving long-term health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Methods PuLsE (Open Prospective Randomized Long-term Effectiveness) was a prospective, randomized, parallel-group, open-label, and long-term effectiveness study (conducted at 28 sites in Europe and Canada). Adults with pharmacoresistant focal seizures (n = 112) received VNS + BMP or BMP (1:1 ratio). Medications and VNS parameters could be adjusted as clinically indicated for optimal seizure control while minimizing adverse effects. Primary endpoint was mean change from baseline HRQoL (using Quality of Life in Epilepsy Inventory-89 total score; QOLIE-89). Secondary endpoints included changes in seizure frequency, responder rate (?50% decrease in seizure frequency), Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale (CES-D), Neurological Disorders Depression Inventory-Epilepsy scale (NDDI-E), Clinical Global Impression-Improvement scale (CGI-I), Adverse Event Profile (AEP), and antiepileptic drug (AED) load. The study was prematurely terminated due to recruitment difficulties prior to completing the planned enrollment of n = 362. Results for n = 96 who had baseline and at least one follow-up QOLIE-89 assessment (from months 3-12) were included in this analysis. Mixed model repeated measures (MMRM) analysis of variance was performed on change from baseline for the primary and secondary endpoints. Results Significant between-group differences in favor of VNS + BMP were observed regarding improvement in HRQoL, seizure frequency, and CGI-I score (respective p-values < 0.05, 0.03, and 0.01). More patients in the VNS + BMP group (43%) reported adverse events (AEs) versus BMP group (21%) (p = 0.01), a difference reflecting primarily mostly transient AEs related to VNS implantation or stimulation. No significant difference between treatment groups was observed for changes in CES-D, NDDI-E, AEP, and AED load. Significance VNS therapy as a treatment adjunct to BMP in patients with pharmacoresistant focal seizures was associated with a significant improvement in HRQoL compared with BMP alone. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Our epilepsy story: SUDEP Aware
  • Unusual 4p16.3 deletions suggest an additional chromosome region for the Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome?associated seizures disorder
    Objective Seizure disorder is one of the most relevant clinical manifestations in Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome (WHS) and it acts as independent prognostic factor for the severity of intellectual disability (ID). LETM1, encoding a mitochondrial protein playing a role in K+/H+ exchange and in Ca2+ homeostasis, is currently considered the major candidate gene. However, whether haploinsufficiency limited to LETM1 is enough to cause epilepsy is still unclear. The main purpose of the present research is to define the 4p chromosome regions where genes for seizures reside. Methods Comparison of our three unusual 4p16.3 deletions with 13 literature reports. Array-comparative genomic hybridization (a-CGH). Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on messanger RNA (mRNA) of LETM1 and CPLX1. Direct sequencing of LETM1. Results Three unusual 4p16.3 deletions were detected by array-CGH in absence of a obvious clinical diagnosis of WHS. Two of these, encompassing LETM1, were found in subjects who never had seizures. The deletions were interstitial, spanning 1.1 Mb with preservation of the terminal 1.77 Mb region in one case and 0.84 Mb with preservation of the terminal 1.07 Mb region in the other. The other deletion was terminal, affecting a 0.564 Mb segment, with preservation of LETM1, and it was associated with seizures and learning difficulties. Upon evaluating our patients along with literature reports, we noted that six of eight subjects with terminal 4p deletions preserving LETM1 had seizures, whereas seven of seven with interstitial deletions including LETM1 and preserving the terminal 1 Mb region on 4p did not. An additional chromosome region for seizures is suggested, falling within the terminal 1.5 Mb on 4p, not including LETM1. Significance We consider that haploinsufficiency not limited to LETM1 but including other genes acts as a risk factor for the WHS-associated seizure disorder, according to a comorbidity model of pathogenesis. Additional candidate genes reside in the terminal 1.5 Mb region on 4p, most likely distal to LETM1. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Epilepsy surgery and meaningful improvements in quality of life: Results from a randomized controlled trial
    Objective We examine improvement and worsening in quality of life (QOL) in terms of proportions achieving minimum clinically important change (MCID), and factors related to MCID, in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy randomized to medical or surgical treatment. Methods Eighty patients with temporal lobe epilepsy randomized to surgical (n1 = 40) or medical (n2 = 40) therapy were followed for 12 months, reporting QOL at baseline, and at 6 and 12 months. Previously established thresholds for MCID across various general and epilepsy-specific QOL instruments were used to determine meaningful improvement (positive MCID) or worsening (negative MCID). Generalized linear mixed-effects models were used to compare MCID in both groups. Results At 6 months, 56.0% of patients in the surgical group achieved positive MCID on the Quality of Life in Epilepsy (QOLIE)-89, as compared to 11.0% of those in the medical group (p < 0.001). On the QOLIE-31, 62.0% of the surgical group and 17.0% of the medical group achieved positive MCID (p < 0.001). Substantially more medically treated patients exhibited clinically significant worsening in QOL, as compared with those surgically treated. The respective medical versus surgical proportions with worsening were 36.67% versus 13.8% in QOLIE31, 20% versus 15% in Health Utility Index-III (HUI-III), and 30% versus 19% in Short Form-36 (SF-36) Mental Composite Score (MCS). The number of patients who need to undergo surgery for one additional person to have a meaningful improvement in the QOLIE-31 is two (number needed to treat = 2). The results also favored surgery using the generic HUI-III instrument, but not with the mental of physical function subscales of the SF-36. Significance Significantly more patients in the surgical group achieved meaningful improvement in epilepsy-specific measures of QOL at 6 and 12 months compared to those in the medical group. Substantially more patients in the medical therapy group exhibited clinically significant worsening in their QOL assessed with epilepsy-specific and generic instruments. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Birth weight and cognition in children with epilepsy
    Objective Birth weight is an important indicator of prenatal environment, and subtle variations of birth weight within the normal range have been associated with differential risk for cognitive and behavioral problems. Therefore, we aimed to determine if there are differences in birth weight between full-term children with uncomplicated new/recent-onset epilepsies and typically developing healthy controls. We further examined the relationships between birth weight and childhood/adolescent cognition, behavior, and academic achievement. Methods One hundred eight children with new-onset/recent-onset epilepsy and 70 healthy controls underwent neuropsychological assessment. All participants were born full-term (>37 weeks) without birth complications. Parents were interviewed regarding their child's gestation, birth, and neurodevelopmental history. Results Birth weight of children with epilepsy was significantly lower than healthy controls (p = 0.023). Whereas birth weight (covaried with age, sex, handedness, and mother's education) was significantly associated with cognition in controls in multiple domains (intelligence, language, aspects of academic achievement), this relationship was absent in children with epilepsy. Birth weight was not associated with clinical epilepsy variables (age of onset, epilepsy syndrome) and was not predictive of a variety of other academic or psychiatric comorbidities of epilepsy. Significance Although the origin of lower birth weight in children with epilepsy is unknown, these findings raise the possibility that abnormal prenatal environment may affect childhood-onset epilepsy. Furthermore, the positive relationship between birth weight and cognition evident in healthy controls was disrupted in children with epilepsy. However, birth weight was not related to academic and psychiatric comorbidities of childhood epilepsy. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • The cognitive profile of occipital lobe epilepsy and the selective association of left temporal lobe hypometabolism with verbal memory impairment
    We investigated the cognitive profile of structural occipital lobe epilepsy (OLE) and whether verbal memory impairment is selectively associated with left temporal lobe hypometabolism on [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET). Nine patients with OLE, ages 8?29 years, completed presurgical neuropsychological assessment. Composite measures were calculated for intelligence quotient (IQ), speed, attention, verbal memory, nonverbal memory, and executive functioning. In addition, the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) was used as a specific measure of frontal lobe functioning. Presurgical FDG-PET was analyzed with statistical parametric mapping in 8 patients relative to 16 healthy volunteers. Mild impairments were evident for IQ, speed, attention, and executive functioning. Four patients demonstrated moderate or severe verbal memory impairment. Temporal lobe hypometabolism was found in seven of eight patients. Poorer verbal memory was associated with left temporal lobe hypometabolism (p = 0.002), which was stronger (p = 0.03 and p = 0.005, respectively) than the association of left temporal lobe hypometabolism with executive functioning or with performance on the WCST. OLE is associated with widespread cognitive comorbidity, suggesting cortical dysfunction beyond the occipital lobe. Verbal memory impairment is selectively associated with left temporal lobe hypometabolism in OLE, supporting a link between neuropsychological dysfunction and remote hypometabolism in focal epilepsy. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Role of ictal baseline shifts and ictal high-frequency oscillations in stereo-electroencephalography analysis of mesial temporal lobe seizures
    Objective To assess the role of ictal baseline shifts (IBS) and ictal high-frequency oscillations (iHFOs) in intracranial electroencephalography (EEG) presurgical evaluation by analysis of the spatial and temporal relationship of IBS, iHFOs with ictal conventional stereo-electroencephalography (icEEG) in mesial temporal lobe seizures (MTLS). Methods We studied 15 adult patients with medically refractory MTLS who underwent monitoring with depth electrodes. Seventy-five ictal EEG recordings at 1,000 Hz sampling rate were studied. Visual comparison of icEEG, IBS, and iHFOs were performed using Nihon-Kohden Neurofax systems (acquisition range 0.016?300 Hz). Each recorded ictal EEG was analyzed with settings appropriate for displaying icEEG, IBS, and iHFOs. Results IBS and iHFOs were observed in all patients and in 91% and 81% of intracranial seizures, respectively. IBS occurred before (22%), at (57%), or after (21%) icEEG onset. In contrast, iHFOs occurred at (30%) or after (70%) icEEG onset. The onset of iHFOs was 11.5 s later than IBS onset (p < 0.0001). All of the earliest onset of IBS and 70% of the onset of iHFOs overlapped with the ictal onset zone (IOZ). Compared with iHFOs, interictal HFOs (itHFOs) were less correlated with IOZ. In contrast to icEEG, IBS and iHFOs had smaller spatial distributions in 70% and 100% of the seizures, respectively. An IBS dipole was observed in 66% of the seizures. Eighty-seven percent of the dipoles had a negative pole at the anterior/medial part of amygdala/hippocampus complex (A-H complex) and a positive pole at the posterior/lateral part of the A-H complex. Significance The results suggest that evaluation of IBS and iHFOs, in addition to routine icEEG, helps in more accurately defining the IOZ. This study also shows that the onset and the spatial distribution of icEEG, IBS, and iHFOs do not overlap, suggesting that they reflect different cellular or network dynamics. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Reading difficulty is associated with failure to lateralize temporooccipital function
    Objective Studies of focal epilepsy have revealed abnormalities of language organization; however, little attention has been paid to disorders of reading in this group. We hypothesized that language functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) would reveal differences in language organization between focal epilepsy patients with and without reading difficulties. Methods We conducted language fMRI studies of 10 focal epilepsy patients with reading difficulties, 34 focal epilepsy patients without reading difficulties, and 42 healthy controls. Results We defined regions of interests on the basis of activation patterns on an orthographic lexical retrieval task. Comparison of activations within these ROIs on a second Noun-Verb task revealed epilepsy-related effects (relative to healthy controls: reduced activation in left inferior frontal cortex), as well as greater activation in the right temporooccipital cortex specific to the reading difficulty group. Significance These findings identify a focal epilepsy effect in the left frontal region (present in patients with and without reading difficulties), and a functional abnormality specific to the reading difficulty group localized to right temporooccipital cortex?a region implicated in lexicosemantic processing. Our observations suggest a failure of left hemisphere specialization among focal epilepsy patients with reading difficulties. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Health-related quality of life, mood, and patient satisfaction after epilepsy surgery in Sweden?A prospective controlled observational study
    Objective To evaluate health-related quality of life (HRQOL), mood, and patient satisfaction in epilepsy surgery candidates before and 2 years after epilepsy surgery or presurgical investigation. Methods In this prospective study of 141 patients, 96 underwent surgery and 45 did not. Questionnaires at baseline and at 2-year follow-up included the generic 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HAD), and operated patients answered patient satisfaction questions. SF-36 scores were compared with scores from a matched sample from the Swedish norm population. Numbers were calculated of patients achieving a minimum important change (MIC) in the SF-36 Physical Composite Summary (PCS) and Mental Composite Summary (MCS). Results At baseline, patients had significantly lower values than the norm on all SF-36 domains. At follow-up, operated patients were divided into seizure-free (International League Against Epilepsy [ILAE] class 1 and 2, n = 53) or with continued seizures (n = 43). No differences in baseline HAD or SF-36 values were found between these groups. Seizure-free patients reached the same levels as the norm in all SF-36 domains except Social Function. Operated patients with continued seizures and nonoperated patients had unchanged scores. Fifty-one percent of seizure-free patients had an improvement reaching MIC for PCS and 45% for MCS. Corresponding results for patients with continued seizures were 28% in PCS and 28% in MCS, for nonoperated 33% in PCS and 29% in MCS. HAD anxiety scores improved significantly in only the seizure-free patients. Of all operated patients, 80% were satisfied with having had surgery and 86% considered that they had benefited, whereas 20% thought that surgery caused some harm. Significance In patients who were seizure-free after epilepsy surgery HRQOL normalized and anxiety decreased. Operated patients overwhelmingly considered epilepsy surgery to be beneficial. Nonetheless, only about half of the seizure-free patients achieved important HRQOL improvements, suggesting that seizure freedom does not in and of itself guarantee improved patient well-being. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Heart rate variability analysis indicates preictal parasympathetic overdrive preceding seizure-induced cardiac dysrhythmias leading to sudden unexpected death in a patient with epilepsy
    Evidence for seizure-induced cardiac dysrhythmia leading to sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) has been elusive. We present a patient with focal cortical dysplasia who has had epilepsy for 19 years and was undergoing presurgical evaluation. The patient did not have any cardiologic antecedents. During long-term video?electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring, following a cluster of secondarily generalized tonic?clonic seizures (GTCS), the patient had prolonged postictal generalized EEG suppression, asystole, followed by arrhythmia, and the patient died despite cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Analysis of heart rate variability showed a marked increase in the parasympathetic activity during the period preceding the fatal seizures, compared with values measured 1 day and 7 months before, and also higher than the preictal values in a group of 10 patients with GTCS without SUDEP. The duration of the QTc interval was short (335?358 msec). This unfortunate case documented during video-EEG monitoring indicates that autonomic imbalance and seizure-induced cardiac dysrhythmias contribute to the pathomechanisms leading to SUDEP in patients at risk (short QT interval). A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Expression and activity of thimet oligopeptidase (TOP) are modified in the hippocampus of subjects with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE)
    Objective Thimet oligopeptidase (TOP) is a metalloprotease that has been associated with peptide processing in several nervous system structures, and its substrates include several peptides such as bradykinin, amyloid beta (A?), and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules. As shown previously by our research group, patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) have a high level of kinin receptors as well as kallikrein, a kinin-releasing enzyme, in the hippocampus. Methods In this study, we evaluated the expression, distribution, and activity of TOP in the hippocampus of patients with TLE and autopsy-control tissues, through reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), enzymatic activity, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry. In addition, hippocampi of rats were analyzed using the pilocarpine-induced epilepsy model. Animals were grouped according to the epilepsy phases defined in the model as acute, silent, and chronic. Results Increased TOP mRNA expression, decreased protein levels and enzymatic activity were observed in tissues of patients, compared to control samples. In addition, decreased TOP distribution was also visualized by immunohistochemistry. Similar results were observed in tissues of rats during the acute phase of epilepsy model. However, increased TOP mRNA expression and no changes in immunoreactivity were found in the silent phase, whereas increased TOP mRNA expression and increased enzymatic activity were observed in the chronic phase. Significance The results show that these alterations could be related to a failure in the mechanisms involved in clearance of inflammatory peptides in the hippocampus, suggesting an accumulation of potentially harmful substances in nervous tissue such as A?, bradykinin, and antigenic peptides. These accumulations could be related to hippocampal inflammation observed in TLE subjects.
  • Impaired cognitive function in idiopathic generalized epilepsy and unaffected family members: An epilepsy endophenotype
    Objective Idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE) has a strong genetic component, and patients with IGE show deficits in a range of frontal lobe functions. Previous studies provide hints that unaffected siblings of people with IGE may share some of these cognitive deficits, suggesting that these deficits may be genetically determined endophenotypes. Establishment of a neurocognitive endophenotype of IGE would contribute to genetic studies and increase our understanding of the pathophysiology of IGE. To identify potential neurocognitive endophenotypes of IGE, this study aimed to measure neuropsychological performance in patients with IGE, their unaffected relatives, and healthy controls. Methods Thirty-six patients with IGE, 38 first-degree relatives, and 40 healthy controls were examined using a battery of neuropsychological tests sensitive to frontal lobe dysfunction (executive function, nonverbal reasoning, verbal generativity, response inhibition, attention, and working memory). Subject groups were compared using robust Bonferroni-corrected statistics. Results Patients with IGE showed deficits in nonverbal reasoning, verbal generativity, attention, and working memory. Relatives exhibited a parallel profile of cognitive abilities, with significant deficits in these tasks. Patients tended to show greater impairment than relatives in these tasks. Significance This study shows that measures of nonverbal reasoning, verbal generativity, sustained attention, and working memory are endophenotypes of IGE and offer the potential for aiding molecular genetic studies and elucidating the pathophysiology of IGE. Patients tended to demonstrate greater impairment in these tasks, possibly because of a greater genetic contribution and/or disease-related factors. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • In vivo ketogenic diet treatment attenuates pathologic sharp waves and high frequency oscillations in in vitro hippocampal slices from epileptic Kv1.1? knockout mice
    The ketogenic diet (KD) is an effective therapy for pediatric refractory epilepsies; however, whether the KD changes the pathologic network oscillations generated by an epileptic brain remains unknown. We have reported that hippocampal CA3 regions of epileptic Kv1.1? knockout (KO) mice generate pathologic sharp waves (SPWs) and high-frequency oscillations (HFOs) that have higher incidence, longer duration, and fast ripples compared to wild-type (WT). Synaptic activity of hyperexcitable KO mossy fibers significantly decreased CA3 principal cell spike-timing reliability, which contributed to this network pathology. In addition, we have demonstrated that the KD reduces seizures by 75% in KO mice. Here, we determined whether 10- to 14-day in vivo KD treatment exerts disease-modifying effects that alter the spontaneous SPW-HFO complexes generated by the hippocampal CA3 region of KO mice in vitro using extracellular multielectrode array recordings. We found that KD treatment significantly attenuated the pathologic features of KO SPWs and ripples and reduced the incidence of fast ripples. The KD also improved spike-timing reliability of KO CA3 principal cells, decreased mossy fiber excitability, increased mossy fiber-CA3 paired-pulse ratios, and reduced coupling of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials and population spikes in the CA3 region. Collectively, these data indicate that KD treatment modulates CA3-generated pathologic oscillations by dampening hyperactive mossy fiber synapses. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Long-term outcome after limited cortical resections in two cases of adult-onset Rasmussen encephalitis
    Rasmussen encephalitis (RE) is a progressive inflammatory disorder characterized by brain hemiatrophy, unilateral focal deficits, and drug-refractory focal epilepsy. Epilepsia partialis continua (EPC) is a hallmark of the disease. Several immunomodulatory treatments may slow but not halt the disease progression. The treatment of choice still relies on surgical hemispheric disconnection, which is burdened by heavy neurologic morbidity. More limited cortical resections, although more tolerable, are usually considered to be, at best, only transiently effective in RE. Hemispheric disconnections may be not feasible when neurologic functions are preserved and the dominant hemisphere is affected. Adult patients with a milder RE course that preserves neurologic function for a long period are particularly at risk of developing severe deficits after surgery. In this study we present the histories of two patients with adult-onset RE who have undergone selective cortical resections to control EPC, avoiding, at the same time, the severe postsurgical deficits that may be induced by hemispheric disconnective surgery. The good result obtained on EPC has been stable over a prolonged period; however, this result was not paralleled by the stop of neurologic progression in one of the two cases. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Electrical source imaging in cortical malformation?related epilepsy: A prospective EEG-SEEG concordance study
    Objective Delineation of the epileptogenic zone (EZ) in refractory epilepsy related to malformations of cortical development (MCDs) often requires intracranial electroencephalography (EEG) recordings, especially in cases of negative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or discordant MRI and video-EEG findings. It is therefore crucial to promote the development of noninvasive methods such as electrical source imaging (ESI). We aimed to (1) analyze the localization concordance of ESI derived from interictal discharges and EZ estimated by stereo-EEG (SEEG); (2) compare the concordance of ESI, MRI, and electroclinical correlations (ECCs) with SEEG-EZ; and (3) assess ESI added value in the EZ localization. Methods We prospectively analyzed 28 consecutive patients undergoing presurgical investigation for MCD-related refractory epilepsy in 2009?2012. ESI derived from 64-channel scalp EEG was interpreted with blinding to, and subsequently compared with, SEEG-estimated EZ. Anatomic concordance of ESI with SEEG-EZ was compared with that of video-EEG and MRI. We further assessed ESI added value to ECC and MRI. Results Twelve patients (43%) had temporal and 16 (57%) had extratemporal epilepsy. MRI was negative in 11 (39%) and revealed a cortical malformation in 17 (61%). ESI was fully concordant with the EZ in 10 (36%) and partly concordant in 15 (53%). ECC presented a full and partial concordance with EZ in 11% and 82% of cases, respectively, and MRI in 11% and 46%, respectively. Of 11 patients with negative MRI, ESI was fully concordant with the EZ in 7 (64%) and partly concordant in 4 (36%). ESI correctly confirmed restricted or added localizations to ECC and MRI in 12 (43%) of 28 patients and in 8 (73%) of 11 patients with negative MRI. Significance ESI contributes to estimating the EZ in MCD-related epilepsy. The added value of ESI to ECC is particularly high in patients with MCD and negative MRI, who represent the most challenging cases for epilepsy surgery. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • The effect of amygdala kindling on neuronal firing patterns in the lateral thalamus in the GAERS model of absence epilepsy
    Objective The co-occurrence of absence and mesial temporal lobe epilepsy is rare in both humans and animal models. Consistent with this, rat models of absence epilepsy, including genetic absence epilepsy rats from Strasbourg (GAERS), are resistant to experimental temporal lobe epileptogenesis, in particular by amygdala kindling. Structures within the cortical-thalamocortical system are critically involved in the generation and maintenance of the electrographic spike-and-wave discharges (SWDs) that characterize absence seizures. Using in vivo electrophysiologic recordings, this study investigated the role of thalamocortical circuitry in the generalization of amygdala-kindling induced seizures in the GAERS and the nonepileptic control (NEC) strain of Wistar rats. Methods GAERS and NEC rats were implanted with a stimulating electrode in amygdala and stimulated at afterdischarge threshold twice daily to a maximum number of 30 stimulations. Thereafter extracellular single neuron recordings were performed in vivo under neuroleptanesthesia in the thalamocortical network. Results In NEC rats, amygdala kindling induced convulsive class V seizures and altered characteristics of neuronal activity in the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN), in particular decreased firing rates and increased burst firing patterns. Less marked changes were seen in other regions examined: the ventroposteromedial nucleus of thalamus (VPM), the CA3 region of the hippocampus, and the deep layers (V/VI) of the cortex. GAERS did not progress beyond class II seizures, with a matched number of kindling stimulations, and the thalamic neuronal firing alterations observed in NEC rats were not seen. Significance These data suggest that the TRN plays an important role in kindling resistance in GAERS and is central to the control of secondary generalization of limbic seizures. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • From the editors: Names count?The new operational definition of epilepsy and Epilepsia's poll
  • Introduction to the Clinical Definition of Epilepsy by the ILAE President
  • ILAE Official Report: A practical clinical definition of epilepsy
    Epilepsy was defined conceptually in 2005 as a disorder of the brain characterized by an enduring predisposition to generate epileptic seizures. This definition is usually practically applied as having two unprovoked seizures >24 h apart. The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) accepted recommendations of a task force altering the practical definition for special circumstances that do not meet the two unprovoked seizures criteria. The task force proposed that epilepsy be considered to be a disease of the brain defined by any of the following conditions: (1) At least two unprovoked (or reflex) seizures occurring >24 h apart; (2) one unprovoked (or reflex) seizure and a probability of further seizures similar to the general recurrence risk (at least 60%) after two unprovoked seizures, occurring over the next 10 years; (3) diagnosis of an epilepsy syndrome. Epilepsy is considered to be resolved for individuals who either had an age-dependent epilepsy syndrome but are now past the applicable age or who have remained seizure-free for the last 10 years and off antiseizure medicines for at least the last 5 years. ?Resolved? is not necessarily identical to the conventional view of ?remission or ?cure.? Different practical definitions may be formed and used for various specific purposes. This revised definition of epilepsy brings the term in concordance with common use. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Commentary: ILAE Definition of Epilepsy
  • Commentary: ILAE Definition of Epilepsy
  • Commentary: ILAE Definition of Epilepsy
  • Commentary: ILAE Definition of Epilepsy
  • Commentary: ILAE Definition of Epilepsy
  • Final Comments on the Process: ILAE Definition of Epilepsy
  • My epilepsy story?The Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance
  • Recommendations for HLA-B*15:02 and HLA-A*31:01 genetic testing to reduce the risk of carbamazepine-induced hypersensitivity reactions
    Objective To systematically review evidence on genetic risk factors for carbamazepine (CBZ)?induced hypersensitivity reactions (HSRs) and provide practice recommendations addressing the key questions: (1) Should genetic testing for HLA-B*15:02 and HLA-A*31:01 be performed in patients with an indication for CBZ therapy to reduce the occurrence of CBZ-induced HSRs? (2) Are there subgroups of patients who may benefit more from genetic testing for HLA-B*15:02 or HLA-A*31:01 compared to others? (3) How should patients with an indication for CBZ therapy be managed based on their genetic test results? Methods A systematic literature search was performed for HLA-B*15:02 and HLA-A*31:01 and their association with CBZ-induced HSRs. Evidence was critically appraised and clinical practice recommendations were developed based on expert group consensus. Results Patients carrying HLA-B*15:02 are at strongly increased risk for CBZ-induced Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis (SJS/TEN) in populations where HLA-B*15:02 is common, but not CBZ-induced hypersensitivity syndrome (HSS) or maculopapular exanthema (MPE). HLA-B*15:02?positive patients with CBZ-SJS/TEN have been reported from Asian countries only, including China, Thailand, Malaysia, and India. HLA-B*15:02 is rare among Caucasians or Japanese; no HLA-B*15:02-positive patients with CBZ-SJS/TEN have been reported so far in these groups. HLA-A*31:01?positive patients are at increased risk for CBZ-induced HSS and MPE, and possibly SJS/TEN and acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP). This association has been shown in Caucasian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and patients of mixed origin; however, HLA-A*31:01 is common in most ethnic groups. Not all patients carrying either risk variant develop an HSR, resulting in a relatively low positive predictive value of the genetic tests. Significance This review provides the latest update on genetic markers for CBZ HSRs, clinical practice recommendations as a basis for informed decision making regarding the use of HLA-B*15:02 and HLA-A*31:01 genetic testing in patients with an indication for CBZ therapy, and identifies knowledge gaps to guide future research. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Diagnostic test utilization in evaluation for resective epilepsy surgery in children
    Epilepsy surgery is highly successful in achieving seizure freedom in carefully selected children with drug-resistant focal epilepsy. Advances in technology have aided presurgical evaluation and increased the number of possible candidates. Many of the tests employed are resource intense, and in specific cases they may be unhelpful or have adverse effects. Some standardization of the evaluation process is thus considered timely. Given the lack of class 1 or 2 evidence defining the relative utility of each test in specific clinicopathologic cohorts, a set of expert recommendations was attempted using consensus among members of the Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery Task Force of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) Commissions of Pediatrics and Diagnostics These recommendations aim to limit fringe over or underutilization of use while retaining substantial flexibility in the use of various tests, in keeping with most standard practices at established pediatric epilepsy centers. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Volumetric changes in hippocampal subregions and their relation to memory in pediatric nonlesional localization-related epilepsy
    Objective Developmental differences in structure and function have been reported along the hippocampal subregions. The aims of this study were to determine if there were volumetric differences in hippocampal head (HH), body (HB), tail (HT), and total hippocampus (TotH)) in children with nonlesional localization-related epilepsy relative to controls, and the relation between hippocampal subregions with episodic memory and clinical parameters. Methods Forty-eight children with nonlesional localization-related epilepsy, consisting of 29 left-sided and 19 right-sided epilepsy, and 27 healthy controls were recruited. All patients and controls underwent volumetric T1-weighted imaging, and verbal and nonverbal memory testing. The volume of hippocampal subregions was compared between patients and controls. The associations between left hippocampal subregions with verbal memory; right hippocampal subregions with nonverbal memory; and hippocampal subregions with age, age at seizure onset, and seizure frequency were assessed. Results Patients with left-sided epilepsy had smaller left HH (p = 0.003) and HB (p = 0.012), right HB (p = 0.021) and HT (p = 0.015), and right TotH (p = 0.020) volumes. Those with right-sided epilepsy had smaller right HT (p = 0.018) volume. There were no statistically significant differences between verbal and nonverbal memory in left-sided and right-sided epilepsy relative to controls (all p > 0.025). In left-sided epilepsy, there was a significant association between left HH volume with verbal memory (? = 0.492, p = 0.001). There was no significant association between left and right hippocampal subregions with verbal and nonverbal memory, respectively, in right-sided epilepsy and controls (all p > 0.002). In left-sided and right-sided epilepsy, there was no significant association between hippocampal subregions with age, age at seizure onset, and seizure frequency (all p > 0.002). Significance We have found hippocampal volume reduction, but did not identify a gradient in the severity of volume reduction along the hippocampal axis in children with localization-related epilepsy. Further study is needed to clarify if there are volumetric changes within the cornu ammonis subfields and dentate gyrus. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Long-term course of Dravet syndrome: A study from an epilepsy center in Japan
    Objective This study attempted to clarify the long-term course of Dravet syndrome (DS). Methods Sixty-four patients diagnosed with DS (44 with typical DS, and 20 with atypical DS) were studied. The long-term outcomes of clinical seizures, electroencephalographic findings, neuropsychological findings, and social situation were analyzed. The follow-up period ranged from 11 to 34 years 5 months (median 24 years). Results At the last visit, the ages ranged from 19 years to 45 years (median 30 years). Fifty-nine patients continued to have generalized tonic?clonic seizures (GTCS). Status epilepticus and unilateral seizures were not observed and myoclonic seizures, atypical absence seizures, and photosensitive seizures were resolved in most patients. The frequency of complex partial seizures was equally low, with five patients at presentation and six patients at the last visit, respectively. Five patients achieved seizure remission (seizure-free for 1 year or longer). Only 1 of 44 patients with typical DS had seizure remission, whereas 4 of 20 patients with atypical DS remitted, with a statistically significant difference between the two phenotypes (p = 0.03). Intellectual disability was found in all patients; especially, severe intellectual disability was prevalent. Patients with atypical DS tended to have milder intellectual disability compared to those with typical DS (p = 0.0283). Occipital alpha rhythm in the basic activity was associated with milder intellectual disability (p = 0.0085). The freedom from seizures correlated with appearance of occipital alpha rhythms (p = 0.0008) and disappearance of epileptic discharges (p = 0.0004). Two patients with GTCS died. Mutations of the neuronal voltage-gated sodium channel alpha subunit type 1 gene were detected at a high frequency (33 of 36 patients examined). Seizure remission was found only in the missense mutation group. Significance The long-term seizure and intellectual outcomes are extremely poor in patients with typical DS compared to those with atypical DS. Epilepsy phenotype may influence long-term course of DS.
  • Developmental brain abnormalities in tuberous sclerosis complex: A comparative tissue analysis of cortical tubers and perituberal cortex
    Objective Genetic loss of Tsc1/Tsc2 function in tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) results in altered mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling and abnormal brain development. Although earlier studies have focused on characterization of cortical tubers, in this study we sought to examine the unique cellular and molecular features of the perituberal cortex in order to better understand its contribution to epileptogenesis, cognitive dysfunction, and autism. Methods Standard histologic and immunohistochemical labeling was used to assess structural abnormalities and cell-specific pattern of mTORC1 activation in surgically resected cortical tubers and perituberal cortex. Western blotting was performed to quantify the expression of the mTORC1 and mTORC2 biomarkers phospho-S6 (Ser235/236), phospho-S6 (Ser240/244), and phospho-Akt (Ser473), in addition to evaluating the differential expression levels of several neuronal and glial-specific proteins in tubers and peritubers, as compared to non-TSC epilepsy specimens. Results Tubers demonstrated mild to severe disruption of cortical lamination, the presence of pS6-positive dysplastic neurons and giant cells, an overall increase in mTORC1 and a decrease in mTORC2 activity, increased axonal connectivity and growth, and hypomyelination. Perituberal cortex presented similar histologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular features; however, they were overall milder. Axonal growth was specific for TSC and was negatively correlated with deficient myelination. Significance Our results show an extension of cellular dysplasia and dysregulated mTOR signaling in the perituberal tissue, and demonstrate for the first time aberrant connectivity in human TSC brain. This study provides new insights into the pathophysiology of neurologic dysfunction associated with TSC and supports the intrinsic epileptogenicity of normal-appearing perituberal cortex. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Long-term seizure remission in childhood absence epilepsy: Might initial treatment matter?
    Objective Examine the possible association between long-term seizure outcome in childhood absence epilepsy (CAE) and the initial treatment choice. Methods Children with CAE were prospectively recruited at initial diagnosis and followed in a community-based cohort study. Children presenting with convulsive seizures, significant imaging abnormalities, or who were followed <5 years were excluded. Early outcomes included success of initial medication, early remission, and pharmacoresistance. The primary long-term outcome was complete remission: ?5 years both seizure free and medication free. Survival methods were used for analyses. Results The first medication was ethosuximde (ESM) in 41 (69%) and valproic acid (VPA) in 18 (31%). Initial success rates were 59% (ESM) and 56% (VPA). Early remission and pharmacoresistance were similar in each group. Apart from atypical electroencephalography (EEG) features (61% [VPA], 17% [ESM]), no clinical features varied substantially between the treatment groups. Complete remission occurred in 31 children (76%) treated with ESM and 7 (39%) who received VPA (p = 0.007). Children with versus without atypical EEG features were less likely to enter complete remission (50% vs. 71%, p = 0.03). In a Cox regression, ESM was associated with a higher rate of complete remission than VPA (hazards ratio [HR] 2.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1?6.0; p = 0.03). Atypical EEG features did not independently predict outcome (p = 0.15). Five-year and 10-year remission, regardless of continued treatment, occurred more often in children initially treated with ESM versus VPA. Significance These findings are congruent with results of studies in genetic absence models in rats and provide preliminary evidence motivating a hypothesis regarding potential disease-modifying effects of ESM in CAE. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Stable dosages of clobazam for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome are associated with sustained drop-seizure and total-seizure improvements over 3 years
    Objective To determine long-term safety and efficacy of adjunctive clobazam for patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). Methods Eligible patients from two randomized controlled trials (Phase II OV-1002 and Phase III OV-1012) were able to enroll in open-label extension (OLE) study OV-1004 beginning in December 2005 and received clobazam until they discontinued (mandatory at 2 years for patients outside the United States) or until study completion in March 2012. Patients in the United States could have received clobazam for 6 years before it became commercially available. Efficacy assessments included changes in rates of drop seizures and total seizures, responder rates (?50%, ?75%, or 100% decreases in seizure frequency vs. baseline), sustained efficacy over time, concomitant antiepileptic drug (AED) use, and global evaluations. Safety assessments included exposure to clobazam, laboratory assessments, physical and neurologic examinations, vital sign monitoring, electrocardiography monitoring, and adverse event reporting. Results Of 267 patients who enrolled in the OLE, 188 (70%) completed the trial. Two hundred seven patients were from the United States, which was the only country in which patients could be treated with clobazam for >2 years. Forty-four patients were treated with clobazam for 5 years, and 11 for 6 years. Because of the low number of Year 6 patients, this group is not reported separately. Improvements in baseline seizure rates were very stable over the course of the study, with a median 85% decrease in drop seizures at Year 1, 87% at Year 2, 92% at Year 3, 97% at Year 4, and a 91% decrease for patients who had reached Year 5. Similar results were observed for total seizures (79% decrease at both Years 1 and 2, 82% decrease at Year 3, 75% decrease at Year 4, and 85% decrease at Year 5). Responder rates were also stable for the duration of the trial. Of patients who had achieved a ?50% decrease in median drop-seizure frequency from baseline to Month 3, 86% still had that degree of drop-seizure reduction at Year 3 (and 14% lost their initial responses), and 47% were drop-seizure?free. Most patients who had achieved drop-seizure freedom in the original controlled trials remained drop-seizure?free in the OLE. Based on parents' and physicians' ratings of global evaluations, 80% of patients were ?very much improved? or ?much improved? after 3 years. Of the 43 patients with concomitant AED data who were treated for 5 years, 30% increased, 19% decreased, and 51% had no change in numbers of AEDs versus their Week 4 regimens. The mean modal clobazam dosage was 0.90 mg/kg/day at Year 1 and 0.97 mg/kg/day at Year 5, suggesting that study patients did not need significant increases in dosage over time. The safety profile was what would be expected for clobazam for LGS patients over a 5-year span, and no new safety concerns developed over time. Significance In this largest and longest-running trial in LGS, adjunctive clobazam sustained seizure freedom and substantial seizure improvements at stable dosages through 3 years of therapy in this difficult- to-treat patient population. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Adjunctive zonisamide therapy in the long-term treatment of children with partial epilepsy: Results of an open-label extension study of a phase III, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
    Objective To investigate the safety/tolerability and efficacy of long-term adjunctive zonisamide and its impact on growth and development in children (6?18 years) with partial epilepsy. Methods Open-label extension of a phase III, placebo-controlled trial. Started with double-blind transition period (2?11 weeks), during which patients on zonisamide continued at the same dose and those on placebo switched to zonisamide 1 mg/kg/day, up-titrated to 8 mg/kg/day (maximum 500 mg/day). During the subsequent open-label period (45?57 weeks), zonisamide dosing could be adjusted according to tolerability/response. Safety assessments included treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs), clinical laboratory parameters, and vital signs. Efficacy assessments included responder rate (primary assessment) and seizure freedom rate during the open-label period. Growth and development assessments comprised Tanner stages, hand x-rays, Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL 6/18), School Performance questionnaire, Physician and Parent/Guardian Global Impression of Change, and Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT). Results One hundred forty-four children entered the study; 99 (68.8%) of 144 children completed it, and 108 (75.0%) of 144 received zonisamide for ?1 year. TEAEs occurred in 39 (27.1%) of 144 patients. There were low incidences of serious TEAEs (2.1%) and TEAEs leading to discontinuation (2.8%). Bicarbonate level decreases >3.5 mm occurred in 64 patients (44.4%), and 24 patients (16.7%) had a weight decrease of ?10% from baseline. During the open-label period, 81 (56.3%) of 144 patients were responders and 16 (11.1%) of 144 achieved seizure freedom. Tanner staging and skeletal development were as expected for the study population. Changes were minimal for CBCL 6/18 and School Performance scores. Most patients were ?much improved?/?very much improved? on Physician (73.8%) and Parent/Guardian (75.4%) Global Impressions of Change. Median changes in COWAT Category and Letter Fluency scores were 2.0 and 0.5, respectively. Significance Adjunctive zonisamide was well tolerated and efficacious over a period of at least 1 year in children with partial epilepsy, with no unexpected safety concerns and no consistent detrimental effects on growth and development. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Risk of seizure recurrence after achieving initial seizure freedom on the ketogenic diet
    Objective Few studies have examined the long-term sustainability of complete seizure freedom on the ketogenic diet (KD). The purpose of this study was to describe the risk of seizure recurrence in children who achieved at least 1 month of seizure freedom on the KD, and to assess clinical features associated with sustained seizure freedom. Methods Records of patients initiated on the KD at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) from 1991 to 2009 were reviewed. Subjects who attained seizure freedom for at least 1 month within 2 years were included in the study. Seizure frequency was recorded based on caregiver-reported seizure diaries as unchanged, improved, or worse compared to baseline. Those patients with seizure freedom ?1 year were compared to those with seizure freedom <1 year in terms of demographics, age of seizure onset, number of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) prior to KD, and epilepsy classification. Results Of 276 patients initiated on the KD, 65 patients (24%) attained seizure freedom for a minimum of 1 month. The majority of these patients had daily seizures. The median time to seizure freedom after KD initiation was 1.5 months. Seizures recurred in 53 patients (82%), with a median time to seizure recurrence of 3 months. However, seizure frequency after initial recurrence remained far less than baseline. No clinical features were identified as risk factors for seizure recurrence. Significance Seizure recurrence on the KD after 1 month of seizure freedom most often occurred as occasional breakthrough seizures and not a return to baseline seizure frequency. This study provides evidence to support the continued use of the KD in patients with initial seizure freedom even after breakthrough seizures. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Spike wave location and density disturb sleep slow waves in patients with CSWS (continuous spike waves during sleep)
    Objective In CSWS (continuous spike waves during sleep) activation of spike waves during slow wave sleep has been causally linked to neuropsychological deficits, but the pathophysiologic mechanisms are still unknown. In healthy subjects, the overnight decrease of the slope of slow waves in NREM (non?rapid eye movement) sleep has been linked to brain recovery to regain optimal cognitive performance. Here, we investigated whether the electrophysiologic hallmark of CSWS, the spike waves during sleep, is related to an alteration in the overnight decrease of the slope, and if this alteration is linked to location and density of spike waves. Methods In a retrospective study, the slope of slow waves (0.5?2 Hz) in the first hour and last hour of sleep (19 electroencephalography [EEG] electrodes) of 14 patients with CSWS (3.1?13.5 years) was calculated. The spike wave ?focus? was determined as the location of highest spike amplitude and the density of spike waves as spike wave index (SWI). Results There was no overnight change of the slope of slow waves in the ?focus.? Instead, in ?nonfocal? regions, the slope decreased significantly. This difference in the overnight course resulted in a steeper slope in the ?focus? compared to ?nonfocal? electrodes during the last hour of sleep. Spike wave density was correlated with the impairment of the overnight slope decrease: The higher the SWI, the more hampered the slope decrease. Significance Location and density of spike waves are related to an alteration of the physiologic overnight decrease of the slow wave slope. This overnight decrease of the slope was shown to be closely related to the recovery function of sleep. Such recovery is necessary for optimal cognitive performance during wakefulness. Therefore we propose the impairment of this process by spike waves as a potential mechanism leading to neuropsychological deficits in CSWS. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • Altered thalamocortical functional connectivity in idiopathic generalized epilepsy
    Objective Aberrant thalamocortical network has been hypothesized to play a crucial role in the fundamental pathogenesis underlying idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE). We aimed to investigate alterations of thalamocortical functional network in patients with IGE using thalamic seed-based functional connectivity (FC) analysis, and their relationships with frontal cognitive functions and clinical characteristics. Methods Forty-nine IGE patients (31 with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, 17 with IGE with generalized tonic?clonic seizures only, one with juvenile absence epilepsy) and 42 control subjects were prospectively recruited. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was first performed to detect thalamic region of gray matter (GM) reduction in patients compared to controls. Between-group comparison of thalamocortical FC was then carried out using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) analysis seeding at thalamic region of volume difference. In addition, thalamocortical FC was correlated with frontal cognitive performance and clinical variables. Results Neuropsychological assessment revealed that patients with IGE had poorer performance than controls on most of the frontal cognitive functions. VBM detected a reduction in GM in the anteromedial thalamus in patients relative to controls. FC analysis seeding at the anteromedial thalamus revealed a reduction of thalamocortical FC in the bilateral medial prefrontal cortex and precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex in patients with IGE compared to controls. Thalamocortical FC strength of bilateral medial prefrontal cortex correlated negatively with disease duration, but did not correlate with seizure frequency or frontal cognitive functions in patients with IGE. Significance Our results indicate that IGE is associated with decreased thalamocortical FC between anteromedial thalamus and medial prefrontal cortex and precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex. Our finding of greater reduction of medial prefrontal FC in relation to increasing disease duration suggests that thalamoprefrontal network abnormality, the proposed pathophysiologic mechanism underlying IGE, may be the consequence of the long-standing burden of the disease.
  • Enhanced in vitro CA1 network activity in a sodium channel ?1(C121W) subunit model of genetic epilepsy
    Objective A NaV?1(C121W) mouse model of human genetic epilepsy has enhanced neuronal excitability and temperature sensitivity attributed to a decreased threshold for action potential firing in the axon initial segment. To investigate the network consequences of this neuronal dysfunction and to establish a genetic disease state model we developed an in vitro assay to investigate CA1 network properties and antiepileptic drug sensitivity. Methods CA1 network oscillations were induced by tetanic stimulation and average number of spikes, interspike interval (ISI), duration, and latency were measured in slices from control and NaV?1(C121W) heterozygous mice in the presence and absence of retigabine or carbamazepine. Retigabine was also tested in a thermogenic seizure model. Results Oscillations were reliably induced by tetanic stimulation and were maintained after severing connections between CA3 and CA1, suggesting a local recurrent circuit. Blocking ?-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA), ?-aminobutyric acid receptor A (GABAA), Ih, and T-type Ca2+ channels/receptors reduced the number of spikes. Slices from NaV?1(C121W) heterozygous mice displayed several hallmarks of increased network excitability including increases in duration of the oscillation, the number and frequency of spikes and a decrease in their onset latency. The effect of genotype on network excitability was temperature sensitive, as it was seen only at elevated temperatures. Carbamazepine and retigabine were more effective in reducing network excitability in slices from NaV?1(C121W) heterozygous mice. Retigabine appeared to be more effective in suppressing time to thermogenic seizures in NaV?1(C121W) heterozygous mice compared to wild-type (WT) controls. Significance Hippocampal networks of the NaV?1(C121W) heterozygous mouse model of genetic epilepsy show enhanced excitability consistent with earlier single neuron studies bridging important scales of brain complexity relevant to seizure genesis. Altered pharmacosensitivity further suggests that genetic epilepsy models may be useful in the development of novel antiepileptic drugs that target disease state pathology. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • HCN channelopathy and cardiac electrophysiologic dysfunction in genetic and acquired rat epilepsy models
    Objective Evidence from animal and human studies indicates that epilepsy can affect cardiac function, although the molecular basis of this remains poorly understood. Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels generate pacemaker activity and modulate cellular excitability in the brain and heart, with altered expression and function associated with epilepsy and cardiomyopathies. Whether HCN expression is altered in the heart in association with epilepsy has not been investigated previously. We studied cardiac electrophysiologic properties and HCN channel subunit expression in rat models of genetic generalized epilepsy (Genetic Absence Epilepsy Rats from Strasbourg, GAERS) and acquired temporal lobe epilepsy (post?status epilepticus SE). We hypothesized that the development of epilepsy is associated with altered cardiac electrophysiologic function and altered cardiac HCN channel expression. Methods Electrocardiography studies were recorded in vivo in rats and in vitro in isolated hearts. Cardiac HCN channel messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein expression were measured using quantitative PCR and Western blotting respectively. Results Cardiac electrophysiology was significantly altered in adult GAERS, with slower heart rate, shorter QRS duration, longer QTc interval, and greater standard deviation of RR intervals compared to control rats. In the post-SE model, we observed similar interictal changes in several of these parameters, and we also observed consistent and striking bradycardia associated with the onset of ictal activity. Molecular analysis demonstrated significant reductions in cardiac HCN2 mRNA and protein expression in both models, providing a molecular correlate of these electrophysiologic abnormalities. Significance These results demonstrate that ion channelopathies and cardiac dysfunction can develop as a secondary consequence of chronic epilepsy, which may have relevance for the pathophysiology of cardiac dysfunction in patients with epilepsy.
  • Exome sequencing identifies a de novo SCN2A mutation in a patient with intractable seizures, severe intellectual disability, optic atrophy, muscular hypotonia, and brain abnormalities
    Epilepsy is a phenotypically and genetically highly heterogeneous disorder with >200 genes linked to inherited forms of the disease. To identify the underlying genetic cause in a patient with intractable seizures, optic atrophy, severe intellectual disability (ID), brain abnormalities, and muscular hypotonia, we performed exome sequencing in a 5-year-old girl and her unaffected parents. In the patient, we detected a novel, de novo missense mutation in the SCN2A (c.5645G>T; p.R1882L) gene encoding the ?II-subunit of the voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.2. A literature review revealed 33 different SCN2A mutations in 14 families with benign forms of epilepsy and in 21 cases with severe phenotypes. Although almost all benign mutations were inherited, the majority of severe mutations occurred de novo. Of interest, de novo SCN2A mutations have also been reported in five patients without seizures but with ID (n = 3) and/or autism (n = 3). In the present study, we successfully used exome sequencing to detect a de novo mutation in a genetically heterogeneous disorder with epilepsy and ID. Using this approach, we expand the phenotypic spectrum of SCN2A mutations. Our own and literature data indicate that SCN2A-linked severe phenotypes are more likely to be caused by de novo mutations. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • A novel technique of detecting MRI-negative lesion in focal symptomatic epilepsy: Intraoperative ShearWave Elastography
    Focal symptomatic epilepsy is the most common form of epilepsy that can often be cured with surgery. A small proportion of patients with focal symptomatic epilepsy do not have identifiable lesions on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The most common pathology in this group is type II focal cortical dysplasia (FCD), which is a subtype of malformative brain lesion associated with medication-resistant epilepsy. We present a patient with MRI-negative focal symptomatic epilepsy who underwent invasive electrode recordings. At the time of surgery, a novel ultrasound-based technique called ShearWave Elastography (SWE) was performed. A 0.5 cc lesion was demonstrated on SWE but was absent on B-mode ultrasound and 3-T MRI. Electroencephalography (EEG), positron emission tomography (PET), and magnetoencephalography (MEG) scans demonstrated an abnormality in the right frontal region. On the basis of this finding, a depth electrode was implanted into the lesion. Surgical resection and histology confirmed the lesion to be type IIb FCD. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.
  • In Memoriam: Harry Meinardi (February 20, 1932?December 20, 2013)
  • Concerns about bilateral radiosurgical treatment of a patient with bilateral temporal lobe epilepsy
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