Capturing seizures in clinical trials of antiseizure medications for KCNQ2-DEE

John J. Millichap*, Cynthia L. Harden, Dennis J. Dlugos, Jacqueline A. French, Noam N. Butterfield, Celene Grayson, Ernesto Aycardi, Simon N. Pimstone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Literature review of patients with KCNQ2 developmental and epileptic encephalopathy (KCNQ2-DEE) reveals, based on 16 reports including 139 patients, a clinical phenotype that includes age- and disease-specific stereotyped seizures. The typical seizure type of KCNQ2-DEE, focal tonic, starts within 0-5 days of life and is readily captured by video-electroencephalography VEEG for clinical and genetic diagnosis. After initial identification, KCNQ2-DEE seizures are clinically apparent and can be clearly identified without the use of EEG or VEEG. Therefore, we propose that the 2019 recommendations from the International League against Epilepsy (ILAE), the Pediatric Epilepsy Research Consortium (PERC), for capturing and recording seizures for clinical trials (Epilepsia Open, 4, 2019, 537) are suitable for use in KCNQ2-DEE‒associated antiseizure medicine (ASM) treatment trials. The ILAE/PERC consensus guidance states that a caregiver-maintained seizure diary, completed by caregivers who are trained to recognize seizures using within-patient historical recordings, accurately captures seizures prospectively in a clinical trial. An alternative approach historically endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) compares seizure counts captured on VEEG before and after treatment. A major advantage of the ILAE/PERC strategy is that it expands the numbers of eligible patients who meet inclusion criteria of clinical trials while maintaining accurate seizure counts (Epilepsia Open, 4, 2019, 537). Three recent phase 3 pivotal pediatric trials investigating ASMs to treat syndromic seizures in patients as young as 2 years of age (N Engl J Med, 17, 2017, 699; Lancet, 21, 2020, 2243; Lancet, 17, 2018, 1085); and ongoing phase 2 open-label pediatric clinical trial that includes pediatric epileptic syndromes as young as 1 month of age (Am J Med Genet A, 176, 2018, 773), have already used caregiver-maintained seizure diaries successfully. For determining the outcome of a KCNQ2-DEE ASM treatment trial, the use of a seizure diary to count seizures by trained observers is feasible because the seizures of KCNQ2-DEE are clinically apparent. This strategy is supported by successful precedent in clinical trials in similar age groups and has the endorsement of the international pediatric epilepsy community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages7
JournalEpilepsia Open
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • KCNQ2
  • epilepsy
  • seizure diaries
  • tonic seizures
  • video-EEG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Capturing seizures in clinical trials of antiseizure medications for KCNQ2-DEE'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this