Complete Remission for Many With Nonsyndromic Epilepsy

Two-year seizure outcome and underlying cause offer imperfect prediction of complete remission

MONDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of young patients with nonsyndromic epilepsy (NSE) undergo complete remission, which usually persists, according to a study published in the October issue of the Annals of Neurology.

Anne T. Berg, Ph.D., from Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues investigated the likelihood of attaining complete remission in children with NSE over the course of 10 years or more from initial diagnosis. Early predictors of complete remission were investigated, and the risk of relapse after achieving complete remission was assessed in a cohort of 347 children with NSEs, 294 of whom were followed up for 10 years or more. Being seizure- and medication-free for five years was defined as complete remission, with any subsequent seizure for any reason considered a relapse.

The investigators found that 58 percent of the patients achieved complete remission, of whom 6 percent relapsed. Groups with complete remission ranging from 20 to 75 percent could be distinguished based on seizure outcome at two years (remission, pharmacoresistant, unclear) and underlying cause. An independent association was found between older age at onset and a poorer chance of complete remission. Up to 7.5 years after attaining complete remission, relapses occurred, and there was a marginal association with underlying cause (P = 0.06).

"Complete remission occurs in over one-half of young people with NSE and generally persists. Meaningful but imperfect prediction is possible based on underlying cause and early seizure control," the authors write.

One author gave expert testimony for Dow AgroScience, and disclosed financial ties to Eisa, BNPA, and AES.

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