October 7, 2018

Pilot Study: Rapamycin has Positive Effects on Seizures in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex in Years 1-2 but Effects Decline After Year 2

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the long-term results of eight cases diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) and receiving rapamycin therapy because of epileptic seizures and/or accompanying TSC findings.

METHOD: Rapamycin therapy was initiated at a dose of 1.5?mg/m2. Seizure frequency, electroencephalographic (EEG) findings, renal and cranial imaging findings, and cutaneous lesions over 3- to 6-month periods during follow-up and treatment were evaluated.

RESULTS: Four girls and four boys aged 4-16?years at the start of rapamycin therapy and now aged 9-24?years were evaluated. Duration of rapamycin therapy was 1-5?years, and the monitoring period after commencement of rapamycin therapy lasted 5-8?years. Positive effects were observed at 9-12?months in three out of six cases of renal angiomyolipoma (AML) and in the second year of treatment in one. An increase in AML dimensions was observed in three cases after treatment was stopped. Seizure control was established in the first year of rapamycin therapy in all cases. An increased frequency of seizures was observed in three cases after the second year of treatment. No seizure recurrence was determined in the second year of treatment with rapamycin in five out of eight cases. Recurrence of seizure was observed in 6-12?months after the discontinuation of rapamycin in three cases.

CONCLUSION: Rapamycin therapy exhibits positive effects on epileptic seizures in cases of TSC in 1-2 ?years but these positive effects on seizure control of rapamycin therapy decline after the second year. Larger case series are still needed to determine the duration and effectiveness of treatment in childhood.

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