December 30, 2021

Adults with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex: A Distinct Patient Population

Abstract, originally published in Epilepsia

Objectives: There are few data on adults living with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), with most studies focusing on pediatric populations. The objective of our study was to examine a large national cohort of adults with TSC, and to describe the clinical characteristics of these adults and the nature of the multidisciplinary care that they receive.

Methods: Six Canadian medical centers collaborated in this study. Data were collected using a standardized form, and descriptive statistics were used for the analyses.

Results: Our study included 181 adults with definite TSC (mean age = 33.6 years [SD = 13.7]). More than 40% (n = 75) had family members affected by TSC. Forty-six percent (n = 83) of individuals had intellectual disability. Nearly 30% (n = 52) of individuals reported living alone or with a partner/spouse. Seventy-six percent (n = 138) of people had epilepsy, 43% (n = 59) of whom had drug-resistant epilepsy, and 21% (n = 29) had undergone epilepsy surgery. Neuropsychiatric disease (n = 128) and renal angiomyolipomas (n = 130) were both present in approximately 70% of people. Renal imaging was performed in 75.7% (n = 137) of participants within the past 3 years. Renal and pulmonary function tests, as well as electrocardiograms, were recently performed in a minority of individuals.

Significance: Our cohort of adults with TSC showed that an important proportion have a milder phenotype, and are more frequently familial, as compared to children with TSC (and differing from prior reports in adult cohorts). Drug-resistant epilepsy, neuropsychiatric comorbidities, and renal angiomyolipoma are challenging factors in adults with TSC. Our participating medical centers generally followed recommended screening strategies, but there remain important gaps in care. Multidisciplinary and structured TSC care centers offering service to adults may help to improve the health of this important patient population.

Related News