How to reduce the treatment gap for people with epilepsy in resource-limited settings by innovative galenic formulations: A review of the current situation, overview of potential techniques, interests and limits
Advances in epilepsy genetics have been rapid, and it is challenging for clinicians on the ground to keep pace with these advances. The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) Genetics Commission has thus crafted a new Genetic Literacy series targeted at busy clinicians. Our goal is to help provide a concise, accessible resource on epilepsy genetics for the busy, on-the-ground clinician so that he/she can apply that knowledge at point-of-care to help patients. This new series is grounded in educational theories and evidence to ensure that learning is effective and efficient. We hope that by promoting and encouraging continuing medical education in epilepsy genetics, this eventually translates to better patient management and therefore better patient health outcomes.
Premature death among individuals with epilepsy is higher than in the general population, and sudden unexpected death is the most common cause of this mortality. A new multisite collaborative research consortium, the Center for sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) Research (CSR), has received major funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to examine the possible biologic mechanisms underlying this potentially preventable comorbidity and develop predictive biomarkers for interventions that could lower SUDEP incidence. This inaugural report describes the structure of the CSR, its priorities for human and experimental research, and the strategic collaborations and advanced tools under development to reduce this catastrophic outcome of epilepsy. The CSR Partners Program will work closely with committed volunteer agencies, industry, and academic institutions to accelerate and communicate these advances to the professional and lay community.
Global assessment of the severity of epilepsy (GASE) Scale in children: Validity, reliability, responsiveness
The Global Assessment of Severity of Epilepsy (GASE) Scale is a single-item, 7-point global rating scale designed for neurologist-report of overall severity of epilepsy in children. Building on previous preliminary evidence of its validity and reliability for research and clinical use, this study evaluated the GASE Scale's construct validity, reliability, and responsiveness to changes in severity of epilepsy.Methods
Data used for the study arose from the Health-Related Quality of Life in Children with Epilepsy Study (HERQULES), a 2-year multicenter prospective cohort study (n = 374) with observations taken at baseline, and 6, 12, and 24 months after diagnosis. Construct validity and reliability were quantified using Spearman's correlation and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Responsiveness was assessed using both distribution-based and anchor-based indices.Results
The GASE Scale was at least moderately correlated (r ≥ 0.30) with several key clinical aspects and most strongly correlated with frequency and intensity of seizures and interference of epilepsy or drugs with daily activities (r > 0.30). Total variation in GASE Scale scores explained by seven core clinical aspects of epilepsy increased over time (R2 = 28% at baseline to R2 = 70% at 24 months). The GASE Scale had modest test–retest reliability (ICC range: 0.52–0.64) and was responsive to changes in clinical criteria (standardized response mean range: 0.49–0.68; probability of change range: 0.69–0.75; Guyatt's responsiveness statistic range: 0.56–0.84). The GASE Scale showed potential to discriminate “stable” and “changed” patients according to select criteria and to a composite score (area under the receiver operating characteristic [ROC] curve range: 0.50–0.67).Significance
Results offer additional evidence in support of the GASE Scale's validity, reliability, as well as responsiveness to changes in severity of epilepsy in children. We conclude that the GASE Scale is a potentially useful tool for assessing the severity of epilepsy in both clinical and research settings.
Europe consists of 53 countries with widely different economic conditions and different political, educational, and health care systems. This study was aimed at determining the availability of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) across Europe. An electronic questionnaire was submitted to all 43 European chapters of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE). Outcome measures were availability of older, newer, and newest AEDs, generic products, indications, reimbursement rules, and reasons for lack of availability of AEDs. Countries were divided according to economic status as defined by the World Bank. Thirty-four chapters (79%) provided data. There were large differences in AED availability across countries, especially between high-income countries and the other countries. The newest AEDs were not available in any of the 12 non–high-income countries. Availability was higher in countries with public reimbursement systems. Reimbursement policies ranged from full reimbursement for all AEDs to complete lack of reimbursement. Main hurdles for poor access to AEDs included lack of regulatory approval, high prices and reimbursement restrictions. The availability of AEDs differs across European countries, with many hurdles hampering access to epilepsy medicines, particularly to new medications. These findings raise major concerns on the quality of epilepsy care in many countries.
A Cohort Study of Pyridoxine-dependent Epilepsy and High Prevalence of Splice Site IVS11+1G>A Mutation in Chinese Patients
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter, parallel-group study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of adjunctive brivaracetam in adult patients with uncontrolled partial-onset seizures
Brivaracetam (BRV), a selective and high-affinity synaptic vesicle protein 2A ligand, is in development as adjunctive treatment for partial-onset (focal) seizures (POS). This phase 3 study (N01358; NCT01261325) aimed to confirm the efficacy and safety/tolerability of BRV in adults (≥16–80 years) with POS.Methods
This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study enrolled patients with uncontrolled POS despite ongoing treatment with 1–2 antiepileptic drugs. Patients exposed to levetiracetam ≤90 days before visit 1 were excluded. Patients entered an 8-week prospective baseline period, followed by a 12-week treatment period when they were randomized 1:1:1 to placebo (PBO), BRV 100 mg/day, or BRV 200 mg/day, started without up-titration. The co-primary efficacy outcomes were percent reduction over placebo in 28-day adjusted POS frequency, and ≥50% responder rate based on percent reduction in POS frequency from baseline to the treatment period.Results
Seven hundred sixty-eight patients were randomized; 760 were included in the efficacy analysis: 259, 252, and 249 in PBO, BRV 100 mg/day, and BRV 200 mg/day groups, respectively. Percent reduction over PBO in 28-day adjusted seizure frequency (95% confidence interval [CI]) was 22.8% for BRV 100 mg/day (13.3–31.2%; p < 0.001) and 23.2% for BRV 200 mg/day (13.8–31.6%; p < 0.001). The ≥50% responder rate (odds ratio vs. PBO; 95% CI) was 21.6% for PBO, 38.9% for BRV 100 mg/day (2.39; 1.6–3.6; p < 0.001), and 37.8% for BRV 200 mg/day (2.19; 1.5–3.3; p < 0.001). Treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) occurred in 155 (59.4%) of 261 PBO patients versus 340 (67.6%) of 503 BRV-treated patients (safety population). Discontinuation rates due to TEAEs were 3.8%, 8.3%, and 6.8% for PBO, BRV 100 mg/day, and BRV 200 mg/day, respectively. Most frequent TEAEs (PBO versus BRV) were somnolence (7.7% vs. 18.1%), dizziness (5.0% vs. 12.3%), and fatigue (3.8% vs. 9.5%).Significance
Adjunctive BRV 100 and 200 mg/day was efficacious in reducing POS in adults without concomitant levetiracetam use and was well tolerated.
The role of the substantia nigra pars reticulata in kindling resistance in rats with genetic absence epilepsy
Genetic Absence Epilepsy Rats from Strasbourg (GAERS) show a resistance to secondary generalization of focal limbic seizures evoked by kindling. The substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNR) is involved in the propagation and modulation of seizures in kindling. We first examined the role of the SNRanterior and SNRposterior subregions in the resistance to the development of kindling in GAERS. Subsequently, to determine whether kindling resistance relates to differential sensitivity of γ-aminobutyric acid γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic or dopaminergic SNR neurons to kindling, we studied the effects of kindling-inducing stimulations on parvalbumin (PRV; GABAergic neuron marker) or tyrosine hydroxylase (TH; dopaminergic neuron marker) immunoreactivity (ir), respectively, in GAERS and in nonepileptic control (NEC) Wistar rats that lack kindling resistance.Methods
Adult male GAERS were implanted with a stimulation electrode in the amygdala, and bilateral injection cannulas for lidocaine or saline injection (30 min before each kindling stimulation until the animals reached three stage 5 seizures or the 22 stimulations) into the SNRanterior or SNRposterior. In another experiment, PRV-ir in SNRanterior and SNRposterior and TH-ir in SNRposterior only were densitometrically compared in GAERS-SHAM, NEC-SHAM GAERS-STIM, and NEC-STIM animals (6 kindling stimulations).Results
Bilateral SNRposterior infusions of lidocaine eliminated the kindling resistance and resulted in stage 5 generalized motor seizures in all kindled rats. Bilateral lidocaine infusions in the SNRanterior failed to alter the kindling resistance in GAERS. PRV-ir in the SNRposterior was unaltered in GAERS-STIM but increased in NEC-STIM group. Cellular TH-ir in the SNRposterior significantly increased by kindling stimulations in both NEC-STIM and GAERS-STIM groups.Significance
The kindling resistance in GAERS is mediated by the SNRposterior in a lidocaine-sensitive manner. The insensitivity to kindling stimulation of PRV-ir in SNRposterior of GAERS but not NEC rats, implicate GABAergic SNRposterior neurons in kindling resistance. In contrast, the observed stimulation-specific increase in TH-ir in the SNRposterior is unrelated to kindling resistance.
High-resolution glutamate-based neuroimaging could help identify epileptic foci in individuals with epilepsy who have been assessed as nonlesional via conventional brain MRI, a study has...