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עמוד בית
Tue, 28.05.24

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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 2023
Moshe Herskovitz MD

Background: Loss of consciousness (LOC) is one of the most common reasons for seeking neurological advice in clinics and emergency departments. There is considerable difficulty in determining the nature of the events according to patient reports, and collateral history is often difficult to interpret due to multiple versions and observer interpretations.

Objectives: To examine the utility and validity of incidental video recordings (IVR) in the differential diagnosis of LOC.

Methods: In this retrospective study, I included patients with a documented IVR description. Results were divided into three categories: definite approval (IVR conclusion was decisive and congruent with the gold standard test), partial approval (IVR conclusion was decisive and diagnosis was confirmed by treatment response or clinical course), and inconclusive (IVR conclusion was not decisive, no gold standard test was performed, or the gold standard test was either not decisive or incongruent with the IVR).

Results: I evaluated the results of 31 patients with IVR documentation. Overall, in 18 patients (58%), the IVR conclusion was decisive and congruent with the gold standard test. In 8 patients (25.8%), the IVR conclusion was decisive and congruent with the clinical course or treatment response. In 5 patients (16.1%) the IVR was regarded as inconclusive.

Conclusions: IVR have a substantial yield and are highly accurate in the differential diagnosis of LOC, mainly differentiating between epileptic seizures and psychogenic nonepileptic seizures, yet it is utilized in a minority of the patients in real life.

July 2022
Moshe Herskovitz MD, Rachel Ben Hayun MD, and Judith Aharon MD
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

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.

 

March 2009
B. Makhoul, E. Braun, M. Herskovitz, R. Ramadan, S. Haddad and N. Krivoy

Background: West Nile virus, the etiologic agent of West Nile fever, is an emerging mosquito-borne disease. WNV[1] was recognized as a cause of severe human meningo-encephalitis in elderly patients during outbreaks in various parts of the world.

Objectives: To analyze WNV encephalitis therapy and its outcome after prescribing hyperimmune gammaglobulin therapy.

Methods: Eight subjects with WNV encephalitis were treated with supportive therapy and 5 days of IVIG[2] 0.4 g/kg/day containing high WNV antibodies obtained from healthy blood donors.

Results: Patients who were treated with IVIG as soon as possible exhibited an improvement in their symptoms. All subjects presented with high fever, progressive confusion and headaches, nausea and vomining. The Glasgow Coma Screen for six patients ranged between 8 and 13 and all were discharged with a score of 15. The remaining two subjects died during their hospitalization.

Conclusions: In severe WNV infection, where the disease affects the central and/or peripheral nervous system, early intervention with IVIG together with supportive treatment is recommended.





[1] WNV = West Nile virus

[2] IVIG = intravenous hyperimmune gammaglobulin

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