Seizure freedom but not epilepsy surgery is associated with fewer neuropsychiatric difficulties in patients with tuberous sclerosis

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BACKGROUND: Drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) in selected individuals with the rare tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) may benefit from resective epilepsy surgery. Furthermore, associated neuropsychiatric disorders (TAND) are common in patients with TSC; however, long-term data on how surgery affects neuropsychiatric comorbidities are sparse.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two retrospective approaches were used to identify children with TSC and DRE with onset at < 18 years of age. The study group (surgical) was identified through the Swedish National Epilepsy Surgery Registry (n = 17), a registry with complete national coverage since 1990 and prospective patient enrolment since 1995. The reference group (non-surgical) was identified by searching medical records retrieved from the tertiary hospital of Southern Sweden (n = 52). Eligible participants were invited to complete the validated TAND lifetime checklist. Those who did not complete the checklist, never had DRE, or were aged < 7 years old were excluded from the study. The reference group was balanced with the study group for putative confounders, in the following hierarchical order: DRE at the survey, age at seizure onset, age at follow-up, and sex.

RESULTS: After the balancing procedure, both groups comprised 13 participants. The median time from epilepsy onset to the survey was 18.5 (range: 7.75-40.25) and 16.0 (7.33-33.5) years in the study and reference groups, respectively. The median time from surgery to the survey was 13 years (range: 4-22). No significant differences were found in behavioural problems, autism spectrum disorder diagnosis or symptoms, or intellectual disability between the groups, regardless of surgery. Seizure-free individuals (n = 11) performed better in social skills (p = 0.016), intellectual skills (p = 0.029), and overall TAND scores (p = 0.005) than the non-seizure-free group (n = 15).

CONCLUSION: This is the first study to evaluate TAND comorbidities during the long-term follow-up after epilepsy surgery in patients with TSC. We found no evidence of the adverse effects of TAND comorbidities after tuberectomy. However, a larger study that allows for a better adjustment for confounders is needed. Following previous studies, seizure-free individuals had fewer symptoms within most TAND domains compared with the group with uncontrolled epilepsy, indicating less severe symptomatology.

TidskriftEpilepsy and Behavior
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2024 juni 1

Bibliografisk information

Copyright © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Neurologi


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