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Learning difficulties often not documented in newly diagnosed focal epilepsy

Parekh, Pia; Wheless, Hannah; Freglette, Cameryn; French, Jacqueline; Morrison, Chris; Pellinen, Jacob; ,
OBJECTIVE:A previous investigation of people with newly diagnosed focal epilepsy participating in the Human Epilepsy Project 1 (HEP1) revealed an association between learning difficulties and structural brain differences, suggesting an underlying relationship prior to seizure onset. To investigate physicians' practices of documentation learning difficulties during clinical encounters, we conducted a review of initial epileptologist encounter notes from HEP1 participants who self-reported early life learning difficulties separately as part of study enrollment. METHODS:HEP1 enrolled 67 North American participants between June 2012 and November 2017 who self-reported one or more difficulties with learning (i.e., having repeated grade, receiving learning support/remediation, and/or formal diagnosis of a learning disability) prior to epilepsy diagnosis as part of the study enrollment. The epileptologist's initial encounter note was then reviewed in detail for each of these participants. Documentation of learning issues and specific diagnoses of learning disabilities was compared to participant characteristics. Regression analysis was used to test for any independent associations between participant characteristics and physician documentation of learning difficulties. RESULTS:There were significant independent relationships between age, sex, and physician documentation of learning difficulties. On average, participants ages 22 and younger were 12.12 times more likely to have their learning difficulties documented compared to those 23 years and older (95 % CI: 2.226 to 66.02, p = 0.004). Additionally, male participants had 7.2 times greater odds of having their learning difficulty documented compared to female participants (95 % CI: 1.538 to 33.717, p = 0.012). There were no significant independent associations between race, language, employment, or geographical region. SIGNIFICANCE/CONCLUSIONS:These findings highlight disparities in physician documentation for people with newly diagnosed focal epilepsy and a history of learning difficulties. In the HEP1 cohort, physicians were more likely to document learning difficulties in males and in younger individuals. Systematic practice standards are important for reducing healthcare disparities across populations, improving clinical care to individuals, as well as enabling more accurate retrospective study of clinical phenomenon.
PMID: 38759428
ISSN: 1525-5069
CID: 5658772

Later onset focal epilepsy with roots in childhood: Evidence from early learning difficulty and brain volumes in the Human Epilepsy Project

Pellinen, Jacob; Pardoe, Heath; Sillau, Stefan; Barnard, Sarah; French, Jacqueline; Knowlton, Robert; Lowenstein, Daniel; Cascino, Gregory D; Glynn, Simon; Jackson, Graeme; Szaflarski, Jerzy; Morrison, Chris; Meador, Kimford J; Kuzniecky, Ruben; ,
OBJECTIVE:Visual assessment of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) from the Human Epilepsy Project 1 (HEP1) found 18% of participants had atrophic brain changes relative to age without known etiology. Here, we identify the underlying factors related to brain volume differences in people with focal epilepsy enrolled in HEP1. METHODS:Enrollment data for participants with complete records and brain MRIs were analyzed, including 391 participants aged 12-60 years. HEP1 excluded developmental or cognitive delay with intelligence quotient <70, and participants reported any formal learning disability diagnoses, repeated grades, and remediation. Prediagnostic seizures were quantified by semiology, frequency, and duration. T1-weighted brain MRIs were analyzed using Sequence Adaptive Multimodal Segmentation (FreeSurfer v7.2), from which a brain tissue volume to intracranial volume ratio was derived and compared to clinically relevant participant characteristics. RESULTS:Brain tissue volume changes observable on visual analyses were quantified, and a brain tissue volume to intracranial volume ratio was derived to compare with clinically relevant variables. Learning difficulties were associated with decreased brain tissue volume to intracranial volume, with a ratio reduction of .005 for each learning difficulty reported (95% confidence interval [CI] = -.007 to -.002, p = .0003). Each 10-year increase in age at MRI was associated with a ratio reduction of .006 (95% CI = -.007 to -.005, p < .0001). For male participants, the ratio was .011 less than for female participants (95% CI = -.014 to -.007, p < .0001). There were no effects from seizures, employment, education, seizure semiology, or temporal lobe electroencephalographic abnormalities. SIGNIFICANCE/CONCLUSIONS:This study shows lower brain tissue volume to intracranial volume in people with newly treated focal epilepsy and learning difficulties, suggesting developmental factors are an important marker of brain pathology related to neuroanatomical changes in focal epilepsy. Like the general population, there were also independent associations between brain volume, age, and sex in the study population.
PMID: 37517050
ISSN: 1528-1167
CID: 5618932

Demographic and social determinants of cognitive dysfunction following hospitalization for COVID-19

Valdes, Eduard; Fuchs, Benjamin; Morrison, Chris; Charvet, Leigh; Lewis, Ariane; Thawani, Sujata; Balcer, Laura; Galetta, Steven L; Wisniewski, Thomas; Frontera, Jennifer A
BACKGROUND:Persistent cognitive symptoms have been reported following COVID-19 hospitalization. We investigated the relationship between demographics, social determinants of health (SDOH) and cognitive outcomes 6-months after hospitalization for COVID-19. METHODS:We analyzed 6-month follow-up data collected from a multi-center, prospective study of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Demographic and SDOH variables (age, race/ethnicity, education, employment, health insurance status, median income, primary language, living arrangements, and pre-COVID disability) were compared between patients with normal versus abnormal telephone Montreal Cognitive Assessments (t-MOCA; scores<18/22). Multivariable logistic regression models were constructed to evaluate predictors of t-MoCA. RESULTS:Of 382 patients available for 6-month follow-up, 215 (56%) completed the t-MoCA (n = 109/215 [51%] had normal and n = 106/215 [49%] abnormal results). 14/215 (7%) patients had a prior history of dementia/cognitive impairment. Significant univariate predictors of abnormal t-MoCA included older age, ≤12 years of education, unemployment pre-COVID, Black race, and a pre-COVID history of cognitive impairment (all p < 0.05). In multivariable analyses, education ≤12 years (adjusted OR 5.21, 95%CI 2.25-12.09), Black race (aOR 5.54, 95%CI 2.25-13.66), and the interaction of baseline functional status and unemployment prior to hospitalization (aOR 3.98, 95%CI 1.23-12.92) were significantly associated with abnormal t-MoCA scores after adjusting for age, history of dementia, language, neurological complications, income and discharge disposition. CONCLUSIONS:Fewer years of education, Black race and unemployment with baseline disability were associated with abnormal t-MoCA scores 6-months post-hospitalization for COVID-19. These associations may be due to undiagnosed baseline cognitive dysfunction, implicit biases of the t-MoCA, other unmeasured SDOH or biological effects of SARS-CoV-2.
PMID: 35031121
ISSN: 1878-5883
CID: 5119162

Association Between Migraine Comorbidity and Psychiatric Symptoms Among People With Newly Diagnosed Focal Epilepsy

Begasse De Dhaem, Olivia; Aldana, Sandra India; Kanner, Andres Miguel; Sperling, Michael; French, Jacqueline; Nadkarni, Siddhartha S; Hope, Omotola A; O'Brien, Terry; Morrison, Chris; Winawer, Melodie; Minen, Mia T
OBJECTIVE/UNASSIGNED:Little is known about psychiatric symptoms among patients with migraine and newly diagnosed focal epilepsy. The investigators compared symptoms of depression, anxiety, and suicidality among people with newly diagnosed focal epilepsy with migraine versus without migraine. METHODS/UNASSIGNED:The Human Epilepsy Project is a prospective multicenter study of patients with newly diagnosed focal epilepsy. Depression (measured with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale), anxiety (measured with the 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale), and suicidality scores (measured with the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale [C-SSRS]) were compared between participants with versus without migraine. Data analysis was performed with the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test for normality assessment, the Mann-Whitney U test, chi-square test, and linear regression. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:Of 349 patients with new-onset focal epilepsy, 74 (21.2%) had migraine. There were no differences between the patients without migraine versus those with migraine in terms of age, race, and level of education. There were more women in the group with migraine than in the group without migraine (75.7% vs. 55.6%, p=0.0018). The patients with epilepsy and comorbid migraine had more depressive symptoms than the patients with epilepsy without migraine (35.2% vs. 22.7%, p=0.031). Patients with epilepsy with comorbid migraine had more anxiety symptoms than patients with epilepsy without migraine, but this relation was mediated by age in logistic regression, with younger age being associated with anxiety. Comorbid migraine was not associated with C-SSRS ideation or behavior. CONCLUSIONS/UNASSIGNED:Among a sample of patients with newly diagnosed focal epilepsy, 21.2% had migraine. Migraine comorbidity was associated with higher incidence of depressive symptoms. Future studies should be performed to better assess these relationships and possible treatment implications.
PMID: 34961330
ISSN: 1545-7222
CID: 5108082

A prospective study of long-term outcomes among hospitalized COVID-19 patients with and without neurological complications

Frontera, Jennifer A; Yang, Dixon; Lewis, Ariane; Patel, Palak; Medicherla, Chaitanya; Arena, Vito; Fang, Taolin; Andino, Andres; Snyder, Thomas; Madhavan, Maya; Gratch, Daniel; Fuchs, Benjamin; Dessy, Alexa; Canizares, Melanie; Jauregui, Ruben; Thomas, Betsy; Bauman, Kristie; Olivera, Anlys; Bhagat, Dhristie; Sonson, Michael; Park, George; Stainman, Rebecca; Sunwoo, Brian; Talmasov, Daniel; Tamimi, Michael; Zhu, Yingrong; Rosenthal, Jonathan; Dygert, Levi; Ristic, Milan; Ishii, Haruki; Valdes, Eduard; Omari, Mirza; Gurin, Lindsey; Huang, Joshua; Czeisler, Barry M; Kahn, D Ethan; Zhou, Ting; Lin, Jessica; Lord, Aaron S; Melmed, Kara; Meropol, Sharon; Troxel, Andrea B; Petkova, Eva; Wisniewski, Thomas; Balcer, Laura; Morrison, Chris; Yaghi, Shadi; Galetta, Steven
BACKGROUND:Little is known regarding long-term outcomes of patients hospitalized with COVID-19. METHODS:We conducted a prospective study of 6-month outcomes of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Patients with new neurological complications during hospitalization who survived were propensity score-matched to COVID-19 survivors without neurological complications hospitalized during the same period. The primary 6-month outcome was multivariable ordinal analysis of the modified Rankin Scale(mRS) comparing patients with or without neurological complications. Secondary outcomes included: activities of daily living (ADLs;Barthel Index), telephone Montreal Cognitive Assessment and Neuro-QoL batteries for anxiety, depression, fatigue and sleep. RESULTS:Of 606 COVID-19 patients with neurological complications, 395 survived hospitalization and were matched to 395 controls; N = 196 neurological patients and N = 186 controls completed follow-up. Overall, 346/382 (91%) patients had at least one abnormal outcome: 56% had limited ADLs, 50% impaired cognition, 47% could not return to work and 62% scored worse than average on ≥1 Neuro-QoL scale (worse anxiety 46%, sleep 38%, fatigue 36%, and depression 25%). In multivariable analysis, patients with neurological complications had worse 6-month mRS (median 4 vs. 3 among controls, adjusted OR 1.98, 95%CI 1.23-3.48, P = 0.02), worse ADLs (aOR 0.38, 95%CI 0.29-0.74, P = 0.01) and were less likely to return to work than controls (41% versus 64%, P = 0.04). Cognitive and Neuro-QOL metrics were similar between groups. CONCLUSIONS:Abnormalities in functional outcomes, ADLs, anxiety, depression and sleep occurred in over 90% of patients 6-months after hospitalization for COVID-19. In multivariable analysis, patients with neurological complications during index hospitalization had significantly worse 6-month functional outcomes than those without.
PMID: 34000678
ISSN: 1878-5883
CID: 4876752

Is formal scoring better than just looking? A comparison of subjective and objective scoring methods of the Rey Complex Figure Test for lateralizing temporal lobe epilepsy

LeMonda, Brittany C; MacAllister, William; Morrison, Chris; Vaurio, Linnea; Blackmon, Karen; Maiman, Moshe; Liu, Anli; Liberta, Taylor; Bar, William B
OBJECTIVE/UNASSIGNED:Findings highlight concerns regarding the usefulness of the RCFT in TLE lateralization, regardless of scoring approach.
PMID: 33356888
ISSN: 1744-4144
CID: 4954292

AACN President's Annual Statement of the Academy Report

Morrison, Chris
PMID: 31777302
ISSN: 1744-4144
CID: 4216142

Cortical naming sites and increasing age in adults with refractory epilepsy: More might be less

Hamberger, Marla J; Schevon, Catherine A; Seidel, William T; McKhann, Guy M; Morrison, Chris
OBJECTIVE:Critical decisions regarding resection boundaries for epilepsy surgery are often based on results of electrical stimulation mapping (ESM). Despite the potentially serious implications for postoperative functioning, age-referenced data that might facilitate the procedure are lacking. Age might be particularly relevant, as pediatric ESM studies have shown a paucity of language sites in young children followed by a rapid increase at approximately 8-10 years. Beyond adolescence, it has generally been assumed that the language system remains stable, and therefore, potential age-related changes across the adult age span have not been examined. However, increasing age during adulthood is associated with both positive and negative language-related changes, such as a broadening vocabulary and increased word finding difficulty. Because most patients who undergo ESM are adults, we aimed to determine the potential impact of age on the incidence of ESM-identified naming sites across the adult age span in patients with refractory epilepsy. METHODS:We analyzed clinical language ESM results from 47 patients, ages 17-64 years, with refractory dominant-hemisphere epilepsy. Patients had comparable location and number of cortical sites tested. The incidence of naming sites was examined as a function of age, and compared between younger and older adults. RESULTS:Significantly more naming sites were found in older than younger adults, and age was found to be a significant predictor of number of naming sites identified. SIGNIFICANCE/CONCLUSIONS:Unlike the developmental changes that coincide with increased naming sites in children, increased naming sites in older adults might signify greater vulnerability of the language system to disruption. Because preservation of language sites can limit the extent of the resection, and thereby reduce the likelihood of seizure freedom, further work should aim to determine the clinical relevance of increased naming sites in older adults.
PMID: 31251399
ISSN: 1528-1167
CID: 4090052

Migraine comorbidity and cognitive performance in patients with focal epilepsy

Begasse de Dhaem, Olivia A J; French, Jacqueline; Morrison, Chris; Meador, Kimford J; Hesdorffer, Dale C; Cristofaro, Sabrina; Minen, Mia T
BACKGROUND:Migraine and epilepsy are comorbid conditions. While it is well known that epilepsy can have an impact on cognitive abilities, there is conflicting evidence in the literature on the relationship between migraine and cognitive function. The aim of this study was to assess whether migraine comorbidity in patients with newly diagnosed focal epilepsy is associated with cognitive dysfunction. METHODS:This is a post hoc analysis of data prospectively collected for the Human Epilepsy Project (HEP). There were 349 participants screened for migraine with the 13 questions used in the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) study. Participants were also screened for depression using the Neurological Disorder Depression Inventory for Epilepsy (NDDI-E) and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and for anxiety using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) scale. Cognitive performance was assessed with the Cogstate Brief Battery and Aldenkamp-Baker Neuropsychological Assessment Schedule (ABNAS). RESULTS:About a fifth (21.2%) of patients with a new diagnosis of focal epilepsy screened positive for migraine. There were more women and less participants employed full time among the participants with comorbid migraine. They reported slightly more depressive and anxious symptoms than the participants without migraine. Migraine comorbidity was associated with ABNAS memory score (median: 2, range: 0-12, Mann Whitney U p-value: 0.015). However, migraine comorbidity was not associated with Cogstate scores nor ABNAS total scores or other ABNAS domain scores. In linear regressions, depression and anxiety scores were associated with the ABNAS memory score. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:In this study, there was no association between migraine comorbidity and objective cognitive scores in patients with newly diagnosed focal epilepsy. The relationship between migraine comorbidity and subjective memory deficits seemed to be mediated by the higher prevalence of depression and anxiety symptoms in patients with epilepsy with comorbid migraine.
PMID: 31181426
ISSN: 1525-5069
CID: 3929862

Cortical gray-white matter blurring and declarative memory impairment in MRI-negative temporal lobe epilepsy

Blackmon, Karen; Barr, William B; Morrison, Chris; MacAllister, William; Kruse, Michelle; Pressl, Christina; Wang, Xiuyuan; Dugan, Patricia; Liu, Anli A; Halgren, Eric; Devinsky, Orrin; Thesen, Thomas
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-negative temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) may be a distinct syndrome from TLE with mesial temporal sclerosis (TLE-MTS). Imaging and neuropsychological features of TLE-MTS are well-known; yet, these features are only beginning to be described in MRI-negative TLE. This study examined whether a quantitative measure of cortical gray and white matter blurring (GWB) was elevated in the temporal lobes ipsilateral to the seizure onset zone of individuals with MRI-negative TLE relative to TLE-MTS and healthy controls (HCs) and whether GWB elevations were associated with neuropsychological comorbidity. Gray-white matter blurring from 34 cortical regions and hippocampal volumes were quantified and compared across 28 people with MRI-negative TLE, 15 people with TLE-MTS, and 51 HCs. Declarative memory was assessed with standard neuropsychological tests and the intracarotid amobarbital procedure (IAP). In the group with MRI-negative TLE (left and right onsets combined), hippocampal volumes were within normal range but GWB was elevated, relative to HCs, across several mesial and lateral temporal lobe regions ipsilateral to the seizure onset zone. Gray-white matter blurring did not differ between the groups with TLE-MTS and HC or between the groups with TLE-MTS and MRI-negative TLE. The group with MRI-negative TLE could not be distinguished from the group with TLE-MTS on any of the standard neuropsychological tests; however, ipsilateral hippocampal volumes and IAP memory scores were lower in the group with TLE-MTS than in the group with MRI-negative TLE. The group with left MRI-negative TLE had lower general cognitive abilities and verbal fluency relative to the HC group, which adds to the characterization of neuropsychological comorbidities in left MRI-negative TLE. In addition, ipsilateral IAP memory performance was reduced relative to contralateral memory performance in MRI-negative TLE, indicating some degree of ipsilateral memory dysfunction. There was no relationship between hippocampal volume and IAP memory scores in MRI-negative TLE; however, decreased ipsilateral IAP memory scores were correlated with elevated GWB in the ipsilateral superior temporal sulcus of people with left MRI-negative TLE. In sum, GWB elevations in the ipsilateral temporal lobe of people with MRI-negative TLE suggest that GWB may serve as a marker for reduced structural integrity in regions in or near the seizure onset zone. Although mesial temporal abnormalities might be the major driver of memory dysfunction in TLE-MTS, a loss of structural integrity in lateral temporal lobe regions may contribute to IAP memory dysfunction in MRI-negative TLE.
PMID: 31181427
ISSN: 1525-5069
CID: 3927662