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עמוד בית
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October 2023
Maxim Ioshpa MD

Status epilepticus (SE) is a neurological emergency requiring immediate evaluation and management to prevent significant morbidity or mortality. Previously, status epilepticus was defined as a seizure with a duration equal to or greater than 30 minutes or a series of seizures in which the patient does not regain normal mental status between seizures. The Neurocritical Care Society guidelines from 2012 revised the definition to a seizure with 5 minutes or more of continuous clinical and/or electrographic seizure activity or recurrent seizure activity without recovery between seizures.

Status epilepticus may be convulsive, non-convulsive, focal motor, or myoclonic, and any can become refractory. Convulsive status epilepticus consists of generalized tonic-clonic movements and mental status impairment. Non-convulsive status epilepticus is defined as seizure activity identified on an electroencephalogram with no accompanying tonic-clonic movements. Focal motor status epilepticus involves the refractory motor activity of a limb or a group of muscles on one side of the body with or without loss of consciousness. Refractory status epilepticus refers to continuing seizures (convulsive or non-convulsive) despite appropriate antiepileptic drugs [1].

June 2023
Chen Buxbaum MD, Mark Katson MD, Moshe Herskovitz MD

Background: The annual incidence of epilepsy increases with age, from nearly 28 per 100,000 by the age of 50 years to 139 per 100,000 by the age of 75 years. Late-onset epilepsy differs from epilepsy at a young age in the prevalence of structural-related epilepsy, types of seizures, duration of seizures, and presentation with status epilepticus.

Objectives: To check the response to treatment in patients with epilepsy with age of onset of 50 years and older.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study. The cohort included all patients referred to the Rambam epilepsy clinic between 1 November 2016 and 31 January 2018 with epilepsy onset at age 50 years or older and at least one year of follow-up at the recruitment time point and epilepsy not caused by a rapidly progressive disease.

Results: At recruitment, most patients were being treated with a single antiseizure medication (ASM); 9 of 57 patients (15.7%) met the criteria for drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE). The mean duration of follow-up was 2.8 ± 1.3 years. In an intention-to-treat analysis, 7 of 57 patients (12.2%) had DRE at the last follow-up.

Conclusions: Late-onset epilepsy, which is defined as a first diagnosis in patients older than 50 years of age, is easy to control with monotherapy. The percentage of DRE in this group of patients is relatively low and stable over time.

April 2022
Elyasaf Hofi B Sc Pharm, Mordekhay Medvedovsky MD PhD, Mais Nassar MD, Naomi Kahana Levy PhD, Sara Eyal PhD, and Dana Ekstein MD PhD

Background: Patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) are especially prone to having antiseizure medications (ASMs) withdrawal seizures (WS).

Objectives: To clarify whether WS in JME patients are caused by a high tendency of non-adherence from seizure-free patients or by a constitutive increased sensitivity to drug withdrawal.

Methods: Epilepsy patients followed in a tertiary epilepsy clinic between 2010 and 2013 were included in the study. WS prevalence was compared between drug-responsive and drug-resistant JME patients and patients with other types of epilepsy.

Results: The study included 23 JME patients (16 drug-responsive and 7 drug-resistant) and 138 patients with other epilepsies (74 drug-responsive and 64 drug-resistant). JME patients were younger and included more women than non-JME patients. Significantly more WS were seen in JME than in non-JME patients (P = 0.01) and in the drug-resistant fraction of JME patients in comparison to drug-resistant non-JME patients (P = 0.02). On logistic regression, the type of epilepsy, but not the patient’s sex, was found to significantly predict WS. No significant difference was found in the prevalence of WS between drug-responsive and drug-resistant JME patients. The main ASM discontinued in JME was valproic acid (VPA), especially in women.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest a higher sensitivity of JME patients to withdrawal of medications. It is important to educate JME patients about treatment adherence and to explain to their physicians how to carefully reduce or replace ASMs to mitigate the morbidity and mortality related to ASM withdrawal

November 2020
Dana Ekstein MD PhD, Iris Noyman MD, Firas Fahoum MD MSc, Moshe Herskovitz MD, Ilan Linder MD, Bruria Ben Zeev MD, and Sara Eyal PhD

The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) and its management in patients with epilepsy can be complex. Prescribers should consider potential effects of investigational anti-COVID-19 drugs on seizures, immunomodulation by anti-seizure medications (ASMs), changes in ASM pharmacokinetics, and the potential for drug-drug interactions (DDIs). The goal of the Board of the Israeli League Against Epilepsy (the Israeli Chapter of the International League Against Epilepsy, ILAE) was to summarize the main principles of the pharmacological treatment of COVID-19 in patients with epilepsy. This guide was based on current literature, drug labels, and drug interaction resources. We summarized the available data related to the potential implications of anti-COVID-19 co-medication in patients treated with ASMs. Our recommendations refer to drug selection, dosing, and patient monitoring. Given the limited availability of data, some recommendations are based on general pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic principles and might apply to additional future drug combinations as novel treatments emerge. They do not replace evidence-based guidelines, should those become available. Awareness to drug characteristics that increase the risk of interactions can help adjust anti-COVID-19 and ASM treatment for patients with epilepsy

March 2020
Eyal Lotan MD PhD, Kent P. Friedman MD, Tima Davidson MD and Timothy M. Shepherd MD PhD

The authors reviewed the two most common current uses of brain 18F-labeled fluoro-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) at a large academic medical center. For epilepsy patients considering surgical management, FDG-PET can help localize epileptogenic lesions, discriminate between multiple or discordant EEG or MRI findings, and predict prognosis for post-surgical seizure control. In elderly patients with cognitive impairment, FDG-PET often demonstrates lobar-specific patterns of hypometabolism that suggest particular underlying neurodegenerative pathologies, such as Alzheimer’s disease. FDG-PET of the brain can be a key diagnostic modality and contribute to improved patient care.

July 2019
Adi Porat Rein MD, Uri Kramer MD and Alexis Mitelpunkt MD

Background: Benign rolandic epilepsy or benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BCECTS) is a common childhood epileptic syndrome. The syndrome resolves in adolescence, but 1–7% of patients have an atypical presentation, some of which require aggressive medical treatment. Early treatment may prevent complications and neurocognitive deterioration. Variants include Landau-Kleffner syndrome (LKS) and electrical status epilepticus during sleep (ESES).

Objectives: To determine data driven identification of risk factors and characterization of new subtypes of BCECTS based on anontology. To use data mining analysis and correlation between the identified groups and known clinical variants.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study comprised of 104 patients with a diagnosis of BCECTS and a minimum of 2 years of follow-up, between the years 2005 and 2017. The medical records were obtained from the epilepsy service unit of the pediatric neurology department at Dana–Dwek Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. We developed a BCECTS ontology and performed data preprocessing and analysis using the R Project for Statistical Computing (https://www.r-project.org/) and machine learning tools to identify risk factors and characterize subgroups.

Results: The ontology created a uniform and understandable infrastructure for research. With the ontology, a more precise characterization of clinical symptoms and EEG activity of BCECTS was possible. Risk factors for the development of severe atypical presentations were identified: electroencephalography (EEG) with spike wave (P < 0.05), EEG without evidence of left lateralization (P < 0.05), and EEG localization (centrotemporal, frontal, or frontotemporal) (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Future use of the ontology infrastructure for expanding characterization for multicenter studies as well as future studies of the disease are needed. Identifying subgroups and adapting them to known clinical variants will enable identification of risk factors, improve prediction of disease progression, and facilitate adaptation of more accurate therapy. Early identification and frequent follow-up may have a significant impact on the prognosis of the atypical variants.

September 2017
Shahar Shelly MD, Nicola Maggio MD PhD, Marina Boxer MD, Ilan Blatt MD, David Tanne MD and David Orion MD

Background: Computed tomography (CT) brain perfusion is a relatively new imaging method that can be used to differentiate patients following epileptic seizures in the setting of acute neurological deficits (e.g., hemiparesis, hemiplegia, hemianopsia, aphasia) who arrive at the emergency room with a suspected stroke.

Objectives: To evaluate brain perfusion changes in patients who had an epileptic seizure.

Methods: We retrospectively identified 721 patients who presented at our stroke center between 2012 and 2015 with a suspected acute stroke and underwent examination thorough a stroke protocol, including cerebral CT perfusion (CTP) and CT angiography (CTA) within 8 hours from the onset of symptoms. 

Results: Out of 721 patients, 25 presented with ictal electroencephalography (EEG) findings within 24–72 hours from symptom onset without evidence of vascular occlusion on CTA. While 15 patients had to be excluded from the study due to concomitant brain pathology, we found a specific reduction in cerebral blood volume and cerebral blood flow occurring at the ictal zone, which was identified by a post hoc EEG investigation. 

Conclusions: Our study shows that CTP is an easily accessible tool in emergency department setting for the detection of changes in blood flow dynamics among postictal patients. Thus, we propose the use of CTP in emergency settings to discriminate between postictal changes and acute vascular events. 

 

February 2016
Moshe Herskovitz MD and Yitzhak Schiller MD PhD

Background: Resective epilepsy surgery is an accepted treatment option for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE). Presurgical evaluation consists of a phase 1 non-invasive evaluation and a phase 2 invasive evaluation, when necessary.

Objectives: To assess the results of phase 1 evaluation in patients with focal DRE.

Methods: This observational retrospective study was performed in all consecutive DRE patients admitted to our clinic from January 2001 to July 2010, and who underwent a presurgical evaluation which included at least magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and long-term video EEG monitoring (LTVEM).

Results: A total of 253 consecutive patients with a diagnosis of DRE (according to the ILAE recommendations) who underwent presurgical evaluation were extracted from our clinic and department registry. In 45 of these patients either imaging or ictal video EEG data were missing; the final analysis therefore involved 208 patients. The combined result of the LTVEM and the MRI scan were as follows: 102 patients (49% of the cohort) had a lesion on the MRI scan, in 77 patients (37% of the cohort) the LTVEM results were localizing and congruent with the MRI findings, and in 25 patients (12% of the cohort) the LTVEM results were either non-localizing or incongruent with the MRI findings. In 106 patients (51% of the cohort) the MRI scan was normal or had a non-specific lesion. The LTVEM was localizing in 66 of these patients (31.7% of the cohort) and non-localizing in 40 (19.2% of the cohort).

Conclusions: Although some of the patients with focal DRE can be safely treated with resective surgery based solely on the findings of phase 1 evaluation, a substantial percent of patients do need to undergo a phase 2 evaluation before a final surgical decision is made.

 

November 2013
S. Menascu, U. Kremer, Y. Schiller, I. Blatt, N. Watemberg, M. Boxer, H. Goldberg, I. Korn-Lubetzki, M. Steinberg, and B. Ben-Zeev
 Background: The management of intractable epilepsy in children and adults is challenging. For patients who do not respond to antiepileptic drugs and are not suitable candidates for epilepsy surgery, vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) is a viable alternative for reducing seizure frequency.

Methods: In this retrospective multicenter open-label study we examined the efficacy and tolerability of VNS in patients in five adult and pediatric epilepsy centers in Israel. All patients had drug-resistant epilepsy and after VNS implantation in 2006–2007 were followed for a minimum of 18 months. Patients were divided into two age groups: < 21 and > 21 years old.

Results: Fifty-six adults and children had a stimulator implanted in 2006–2007. At 18 months post-VNS implantation, none of the patients was seizure-free, 24.3% reported a reduction in seizures of ≥ 75%, 19% reported a 50–75% reduction, and 10.8% a 25–50% reduction. The best response rate occurred in patients with complex partial seizures. Among these patients, 7 reported a ≥ 75% reduction, 5 patients a 50–75% reduction, 3 patients a 25–50% reduction, and 8 patients a < 25% reduction. A comparison of the two age groups showed a higher reduction in seizure rate in the older group (< 21 years old) than the younger group.

Conclusions: VNS is a relatively effective and safe palliative method for treating refractory epilepsy in both adults and children. It is an alternative treatment for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy, even after a relatively longed disease duration, who are not candidates for localized epilepsy surgery.

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