November 20, 2020

Preventive treatment positively alters ‘natural history of severe infantile epilepsy’

Article, originally published in Annals of Neurology

Preventive treatment with vigabatrin effectively altered the natural history of seizures among infants with tuberous sclerosis complex, decreasing the risk for and severity of epilepsy, according to results published in Annals of Neurology.

Katarzyna Kotulska, MD, PhD, of the department of neurology and epileptology at the Children’s Memorial Health Institute in Poland, and colleagues conducted the present study as part of the EPISTOP project, a long-term prospective study examining clinical and molecular biomarkers for epileptogenesis in a genetic model of epilepsy/TSC. The trial was conducted from March 2014 through October 2018 at nine sites in Europe and one site in Australia.

In both the RCT and OLT, no patients who received preventive treatment developed infantile spasms compared with four of 13 (31%) patients receiving conventional treatment in the RCT and six of 12 (50%) patients in the OLT, for a statistically significant difference in both the OLT and the pooled analysis (P = .015 and P < .001, respectively). No EPISTOP subject who completed the study developed a severe intellectual disability at the age of 2 years.

“… This EPISTOP study has shown that it may be possible to change the natural history of severe infantile epilepsy through early intervention with antiepileptic therapy,” the researchers wrote.