Complete remission in nonsyndromic childhood-onset epilepsy

Anne T. Berg*, Francine M. Testa, Susan R. Levy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Determine the probability of attaining complete remission in children with nonsyndromic epilepsy (NSE) over the course of ̃10 years from initial diagnosis; identify early predictors of complete remission; and assess the risk of relapse after achieving complete remission. Methods: In a prospective community-based cohort, complete remission was defined as 5 years seizure-free and medication-free. Any subsequent seizure for any reason was a relapse. Univariate and bivariate analyses were conducted with standard methods including the Kaplan-Meier approach. Proportional hazards modeling was used for multivariable analysis. Results: Of 613 cohort members, 347 had NSEs, of whom 294 (85%) were followed ̃10 years (maximum = 17.9). A total of 170 in 294 (58%) achieved complete remission, 10 of whom (6%) relapsed. Seizure outcome at 2 years (remission, pharmacoresistant, unclear) (p < 0.0001) and underlying cause (p < 0.0001) distinguished groups with complete remission ranging from ̃20% to ̃75%. Older age at onset was independently associated with a poorer chance of complete remission. Relapses occurred up to 7.5 years after attaining complete remission and were marginally associated with underlying cause (p = 0.06). Interpretation: Complete remission occurs in over one-half of young people with NSE and generally persists. Meaningful but imperfect predication is possible based on underlying cause and early seizure control. The finding of age effects may play a role in meaningful identification of phenotypes, which could become fruitful targets for genetic and imaging investigations in these otherwise poorly differentiated epilepsies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)566-573
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of neurology
Volume70
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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