Responsive Neurostimulation for People With Drug-Resistant Epilepsy and Autism Spectrum Disorder
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have comorbid epilepsy at much higher rates than the general population, and about 30% will be refractory to medication. Patients with drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) should be referred for surgical evaluation, yet many with ASD and DRE are not resective surgical candidates. The aim of this study was to examine the response of this population to the responsive neurostimulator (RNS) System. METHODS:This multicenter study evaluated patients with ASD and DRE who underwent RNS System placement. Patients were included if they had the RNS System placed for 1 year or more. Seizure reduction and behavioral outcomes were reported. Descriptive statistics were used for analysis. RESULTS:Nineteen patients with ASD and DRE had the RNS System placed at 5 centers. Patients were between the ages of 11 and 29 (median 20) years. Fourteen patients were male, whereas five were female. The device was implanted from 1 to 5 years. Sixty-three percent of all patients experienced a >50% seizure reduction, with 21% of those patients being classified as super responders (seizure reduction >90%). For the super responders, two of the four patients had the device implanted for >2 years. The response rate was 70% for those in whom the device was implanted for >2 years. Improvements in behaviors as measured by the Clinical Global Impression Scale-Improvement scale were noted in 79%. No complications from the surgery were reported. CONCLUSIONS:Based on the authors' experience in this small cohort of patients, the RNS System seems to be a promising surgical option in people with ASD-DRE.
Flexible, high-resolution cortical arrays with large coverage capture microscale high-frequency oscillations in patients with epilepsy
OBJECTIVE:Effective surgical treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy depends on accurate localization of the epileptogenic zone (EZ). High-frequency oscillations (HFOs) are potential biomarkers of the EZ. Previous research has shown that HFOs often occur within submillimeter areas of brain tissue and that the coarse spatial sampling of clinical intracranial electrode arrays may limit the accurate capture of HFO activity. In this study, we sought to characterize microscale HFO activity captured on thin, flexible microelectrocorticographic (μECoG) arrays, which provide high spatial resolution over large cortical surface areas. METHODS:We used novel liquid crystal polymer thin-film μECoG arrays (.76-1.72-mm intercontact spacing) to capture HFOs in eight intraoperative recordings from seven patients with epilepsy. We identified ripple (80-250 Hz) and fast ripple (250-600 Hz) HFOs using a common energy thresholding detection algorithm along with two stages of artifact rejection. We visualized microscale subregions of HFO activity using spatial maps of HFO rate, signal-to-noise ratio, and mean peak frequency. We quantified the spatial extent of HFO events by measuring covariance between detected HFOs and surrounding activity. We also compared HFO detection rates on microcontacts to simulated macrocontacts by spatially averaging data. RESULTS:We found visually delineable subregions of elevated HFO activity within each μECoG recording. Forty-seven percent of HFOs occurred on single 200-μm-diameter recording contacts, with minimal high-frequency activity on surrounding contacts. Other HFO events occurred across multiple contacts simultaneously, with covarying activity most often limited to a .95-mm radius. Through spatial averaging, we estimated that macrocontacts with 2-3-mm diameter would only capture 44% of the HFOs detected in our μECoG recordings. SIGNIFICANCE/CONCLUSIONS:These results demonstrate that thin-film microcontact surface arrays with both highresolution and large coverage accurately capture microscale HFO activity and may improve the utility of HFOs to localize the EZ for treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy.
Risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) with lamotrigine and other sodium channel-modulating antiseizure medications
OBJECTIVE:In vitro data prompted U.S Food and Drug Administration warnings that lamotrigine, a common sodium channel modulating anti-seizure medication (NaM-ASM), could increase the risk of sudden death in patients with structural or ischaemic cardiac disease, however, its implications for Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) are unclear. METHODS:This retrospective, nested case-control study identified 101 sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) cases and 199 living epilepsy controls from Epilepsy Monitoring Units (EMUs) in Australia and the USA. Differences in proportions of lamotrigine and NaM-ASM use were compared between cases and controls at the time of admission, and survival analyses from the time of admission up to 16 years were conducted. Multivariable logistic regression and survival analyses compared each ASM subgroup adjusting for SUDEP risk factors. RESULTS:Proportions of cases and controls prescribed lamotrigine (P = 0.166), one NaM-ASM (P = 0.80), or ≥2NaM-ASMs (P = 0.447) at EMU admission were not significantly different. Patients taking lamotrigine (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 0.56; P = 0.054), one NaM-ASM (aHR = 0.8; P = 0.588) or ≥2 NaM-ASMs (aHR = 0.49; P = 0.139) at EMU admission were not at increased SUDEP risk up to 16 years following admission. Active tonic-clonic seizures at EMU admission associated with >2-fold SUDEP risk, irrespective of lamotrigine (aHR = 2.24; P = 0.031) or NaM-ASM use (aHR = 2.25; P = 0.029). Sensitivity analyses accounting for incomplete ASM data at follow-up suggest undetected changes to ASM use are unlikely to alter our results. SIGNIFICANCE/CONCLUSIONS:This study provides additional evidence that lamotrigine and other NaM-ASMs are unlikely to be associated with an increased long-term risk of SUDEP, up to 16 years post-EMU admission.
Metabolomic, proteomic, and transcriptomic changes in adults with epilepsy on modified Atkins diet
OBJECTIVE:High-fat and low-carbohydrate diets can reduce seizure frequency in some treatment-resistant epilepsy patients, including the more flexible modified Atkins diet (MAD), which is more palatable, mimicking fasting and inducing high ketone body levels. Low-carbohydrate diets may shift brain energy production, particularly impacting neuron- and astrocyte-linked metabolism. METHODS:We evaluated the effect of short-term MAD on molecular mechanisms in adult epilepsy patients from surgical brain tissue and plasma compared to control participants consuming a nonmodified higher carbohydrate diet (n = 6 MAD, mean age = 43.7 years, range = 21-53, diet for average 10 days; n = 10 control, mean age = 41.9 years, range = 28-64). RESULTS: = .48). Brain proteomics and RNAseq identified few differences, including 2.75-fold increased hippocampal MT-ND3 and trends (p < .01, false discovery rate > 5%) in hippocampal nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH)-related signaling pathways (activated oxidative phosphorylation and inhibited sirtuin signaling). SIGNIFICANCE/CONCLUSIONS:Short-term MAD was associated with metabolic differences in plasma and resected epilepsy brain tissue when compared to control participants, in combination with trending expression changes observed in hippocampal NADH-related signaling pathways. Future studies should evaluate how brain molecular mechanisms are altered with long-term MAD in a larger cohort of epilepsy patients, with correlations to seizure frequency, epilepsy syndrome, and other clinical variables. [Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02565966.].
Machine Learning to Classify Relative Seizure Frequency From Chronic Electrocorticography
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:Brain responsive neurostimulation (NeuroPace) treats patients with refractory focal epilepsy and provides chronic electrocorticography (ECoG). We explored how machine learning algorithms applied to interictal ECoG could assess clinical response to changes in neurostimulation parameters. METHODS:We identified five responsive neurostimulation patients each with ≥200 continuous days of stable medication and detection settings (median, 358 days per patient). For each patient, interictal ECoG segments for each month were labeled as "high" or "low" to represent relatively high or low long-episode (i.e., seizure) count compared with the median monthly long-episode count. Power from six conventional frequency bands from four responsive neurostimulation channels were extracted as features. For each patient, five machine learning algorithms were trained on 80% of ECoG, then tested on the remaining 20%. Classifiers were scored by the area-under-the-receiver-operating-characteristic curve. We explored how individual circadian cycles of seizure activity could inform classifier building. RESULTS:Support vector machine or gradient boosting models achieved the best performance, ranging from 0.705 (fair) to 0.892 (excellent) across patients. High gamma power was the most important feature, tending to decrease during low-seizure-frequency epochs. For two subjects, training on ECoG recorded during the circadian ictal peak resulted in comparable model performance, despite less data used. CONCLUSIONS:Machine learning analysis on retrospective background ECoG can classify relative seizure frequency for an individual patient. High gamma power was the most informative, whereas individual circadian patterns of seizure activity can guide model building. Machine learning classifiers built on interictal ECoG may guide stimulation programming.
Association between postictal EEG suppression, postictal autonomic dysfunction, and sudden unexpected death in epilepsy: Evidence from intracranial EEG
OBJECTIVE:The association between postictal electroencephalogram (EEG) suppression (PES), autonomic dysfunction, and Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) remains poorly understood. We compared PES on simultaneous intracranial and scalp-EEG and evaluated the association of PES with postictal heart rate variability (HRV) and SUDEP outcome. METHODS:Convulsive seizures were analyzed in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy at 5 centers. Intracranial PES was quantified using the Hilbert transform. HRV was quantified using root mean square of successive differences of interbeat intervals, low-frequency to high-frequency power ratio, and RR-intervals. RESULTS:There were 64 seizures from 63 patients without SUDEP and 11 seizures from 6 SUDEP patients. PES occurred in 99% and 87% of seizures on intracranial-EEG and scalp-EEG, respectively. Mean PES duration in intracranial and scalp-EEG was similar. Intracranial PES was regional (<90% of channels) in 46% of seizures; scalp PES was generalized in all seizures. Generalized PES showed greater decrease in postictal parasympathetic activity than regional PES. PES duration and extent were similar between patients with and without SUDEP. CONCLUSIONS:Regional intracranial PES can be present despite scalp-EEG demonstrating generalized or no PES. Postictal autonomic dysfunction correlates with the extent of PES. SIGNIFICANCE/CONCLUSIONS:Intracranial-EEG demonstrates changes in autonomic regulatory networks not seen on scalp-EEG.
Focal epilepsies: update on diagnosis and classification
Correctly diagnosing and classifying seizures and epilepsies is paramount to ensure the delivery of optimal care to patients with epilepsy. Focal seizures, defined as those that originate within networks limited to one hemisphere, are primarily subdivided into focal aware, focal impaired awareness, and focal to bilateral tonic-clonic seizures. Focal epilepsies account for most epilepsy cases both in children and adults. In children, focal epilepsies are typically subdivided in three groups: self-limited focal epilepsy syndromes (e.g., self-limited epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes), focal epilepsy of unknown cause but which do not meet criteria for a self-limited focal epilepsy syndrome, and focal epilepsy of known cause (e.g., structural lesions - developmental or acquired). In adults, focal epilepsies are often acquired and may be caused by a structural lesion such as stroke, infection and traumatic brain injury, or brain tumors, vascular malformations, metabolic disorders, autoimmune, and/or genetic causes. In addition to seizure semiology, neuroimaging, neurophysiology, and neuropathology constitute the cornerstones of a diagnostic evaluation. Patients with focal epilepsy who become drug-resistant should promptly undergo assessment in an epilepsy center. After excluding pseudo-resistance, these patients should be considered for presurgical evaluation as a means to identify the location and extent of the epileptogenic zone and assess their candidacy for a surgical procedure. The goal of this seminar in epileptology is to summarize clinically relevant information concerning focal epilepsies. This contributes to the ILAE's mission to ensure that worldwide healthcare professionals, patients, and caregivers continue to have access to high-quality educational resources concerning epilepsy.
Ictal ECG-based assessment of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy
Introduction: Previous case-control studies of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) patients failed to identify ECG features (peri-ictal heart rate, heart rate variability, corrected QT interval, postictal heart rate recovery, and cardiac rhythm) predictive of SUDEP risk. This implied a need to derive novel metrics to assess SUDEP risk from ECG. Methods: We applied Single Spectrum Analysis and Independent Component Analysis (SSA-ICA) to remove artifact from ECG recordings. Then cross-frequency phase-phase coupling (PPC) was applied to a 20-s mid-seizure window and a contour of âˆ’3 dB coupling strength was determined. The contour centroid polar coordinates, amplitude (alpha) and angle (theta), were calculated. Association of alpha and theta with SUDEP was assessed and a logistic classifier for alpha was constructed. Results: Alpha was higher in SUDEP patients, compared to non-SUDEP patients (p < 0.001). Theta showed no significant difference between patient populations. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) of a logistic classifier for alpha resulted in an area under the ROC curve (AUC) of 94% and correctly classified two test SUDEP patients. Discussion: This study develops a novel metric alpha, which highlights non-linear interactions between two rhythms in the ECG, and is predictive of SUDEP risk.
Brain Molecular Mechanisms in Rasmussen Encephalitis
OBJECTIVE:Identify molecular mechanisms in brain tissue of Rasmussen encephalitis (RE) when compared to people with non-RE epilepsy (PWE) and control cases using whole exome sequencing (WES), RNAseq, and proteomics. METHODS:Frozen brain tissue (ages 2-19â€‰years) was obtained from control autopsy (n=14), surgical PWE (n=10), and surgical RE cases (n=27). We evaluated WES variants in RE associated with epilepsy, seizures, RE, and human leukocyte antigens (HLAs). Differential expression was evaluated by RNAseq (adjusted p<0.05) and label-free quantitative mass spectrometry (false discovery rate<5%) in the three groups. RESULTS:, z=5.61). Proteomics detected fewer altered targets. SIGNIFICANCE/CONCLUSIONS:In RE, we identified activated immune signaling pathways and immune cell type annotation enrichment that suggest roles of the innate and adaptive immune responses, as well as HLA variants that may increase vulnerability to RE. Follow up studies could evaluate cell type density and subregional localization associated with top targets, clinical history (neuropathology, disease duration), and whether modulating crosstalk between dendritic and natural killer cells may limit disease progression.
The clinical spectrum of SMA-PME and inÂ vitro normalization of its cellular ceramide profile
OBJECTIVE:The objectives of this study were to define the clinical and biochemical spectrum of spinal muscular atrophy with progressive myoclonic epilepsy (SMA-PME) and to determine if aberrant cellular ceramide accumulation could be normalized by enzyme replacement. METHODS:Clinical features of 6 patients with SMA-PME were assessed by retrospective chart review, and a literature review of 24 previously published cases was performed. Leukocyte enzyme activity of acid ceramidase was assessed with a fluorescence-based assay. Skin fibroblast ceramide content and was assessed by high performance liquid chromatography, electrospray ionization tandem mass spectroscopy. Enzyme replacement was assessed using recombinant human acid ceramidase (rhAC) inÂ vitro. RESULTS:The six new patients showed the hallmark features of SMA-PME, with variable initial symptom and age of onset. Five of six patients carried at least one of the recurrent SMA-PME variants observed in two specific codons of ASAH1. A review of 30 total cases revealed that patients who were homozygous for the most common c.125Câ€‰>â€‰T variant presented in the first decade of life with limb-girdle weakness as the initial symptom. Sensorineural hearing loss was associated with the c.456Aâ€‰>â€‰C variant. Leukocyte acid ceramidase activity varied from 4.1%-13.1% of controls. Ceramide species in fibroblasts were detected and total cellular ceramide content was elevated by 2 to 9-fold compared to controls. Treatment with rhAC normalized ceramide profiles in cultured fibroblasts to control levels within 48Â h. INTERPRETATION/CONCLUSIONS:This study details the genotype-phenotype correlations observed in SMA-PME and shows the impact of rhAC to correct the abnormal cellular ceramide profile in cells.