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1.
Epilepsy Behav ; 127: 108530, 2021 Dec 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586246

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We investigated whether the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the clinical characteristics of patients with functional seizure (FS) (at the time of diagnosis) in a large multicenter international study. METHODS: This was a retrospective study. We investigated all patients with FS, who were admitted at the epilepsy monitoring units at six centers in the world: 1. Shiraz, Iran; 2. Salzburg, Austria; 3. Nancy, France; 4. Atlanta, USA; 5. Kuwait City, Kuwait; and 6. Cairo, Egypt. Patients were studied during two time periods: admitted in 2018-2019 (pre-COVID era) and 2020-2021 (COVID era). RESULTS: Three hundred and twenty-six patients were studied. Two hundred and twenty-four (68.7%) patients were diagnosed before and 102 (31.3%) persons during the COVID-19 pandemic. Only, a history of family dysfunction was significantly associated with the COVID-19 pandemic era (Odds Ratio: 1.925, 95% Confidence Interval: 1.099-3.371; p = 0.022). A low level of education might also be associated with FS during the COVID-19 pandemic, at least in some cultures (e.g., the Middle-East). CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic has not affected the clinical characteristics of patients with FS (at the time of diagnosis). However, a history of family dysfunction was significantly more frequently associated with FS during the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiagency integration of law enforcement responses, social services, and social awareness is recommended to address family dysfunction and domestic violence and support the victims during this pandemic.

2.
Biomedicines ; 9(11)2021 Oct 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1533778

ABSTRACT

Cladribine (CLAD) is a lymphodepleting agent approved for active relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS). The impact of CLAD on the adaptive humoral immune system has not sufficiently been studied. This study aimed to assess the influence of CLAD treatment on specific antibody titers to common pathogens. We included 18 MS patients treated with CLAD. Serum IgG antibody levels to measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B and varicella zoster virus (VZV), as well as diphtheria and tetanus toxins, were measured prior to the initiation of treatment and at 12 and 24 months after first CLAD administration. Moreover, specimens were longitudinally analyzed regarding absolute blood concentrations of IgG and main lymphocyte subsets. No reduction in antibody levels against measles, mumps, rubella, VZV, hepatitis B, diphtheria toxin and tetanus toxin associated with CLAD treatment was observed. Loss of seroprotection occurred in <1%. We found no significant impact of CLAD on absolute serum IgG levels. Absolute lymphocyte counts were significantly reduced at the end of each treatment year (p < 0.00001 and p < 0.000001). This study suggests that CLAD does not interfere with the pre-existing humoral immunologic memory in terms of pathogen-specific antibody titers.

3.
Eur J Neurol ; 2021 Oct 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518031

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: New-onset refractory status epilepticus (NORSE) is a clinical presentation, neither a specific diagnosis nor a clinical entity. It refers to a patient without active epilepsy or other pre-existing relevant neurological disorder, with a NORSE without a clear acute or active structural, toxic or metabolic cause. This study reviews the currently available evidence about the aetiology of patients presenting with NORSE and NORSE-related conditions. METHODS: A systematic search was carried out for clinical trials, observational studies, case series and case reports including patients who presented with NORSE, febrile-infection-related epilepsy syndrome or the infantile hemiconvulsion-hemiplegia and epilepsy syndrome. RESULTS: Four hundred and fifty records were initially identified, of which 197 were included in the review. The selected studies were retrospective case-control (n = 11), case series (n = 83) and case reports (n = 103) and overall described 1334 patients both of paediatric and adult age. Aetiology remains unexplained in about half of the cases, representing the so-called 'cryptogenic NORSE'. Amongst adult patients without cryptogenic NORSE, the most often identified cause is autoimmune encephalitis, either non-paraneoplastic or paraneoplastic. Infections are the prevalent aetiology of paediatric non-cryptogenic NORSE. Genetic and congenital disorders can have a causative role in NORSE, and toxic, vascular and degenerative conditions have also been described. CONCLUSIONS: Far from being a unitary condition, NORSE is a heterogeneous and clinically challenging presentation. The development and dissemination of protocols and guidelines to standardize diagnostic work-up and guide therapeutic approaches should be implemented. Global cooperation and multicentre research represent priorities to improve the understanding of NORSE.

4.
Epilepsia ; 62(10): 2322-2332, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1371818

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the care of all patients around the world. The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) COVID-19 and Telemedicine Task Forces examined, through surveys to people with epilepsy (PWE), caregivers, and health care professionals, how the pandemic has affected the well-being, care, and services for PWE. The ILAE included a link on their website whereby PWE and/or their caregivers could fill out a survey (in 11 languages) about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including access to health services and impact on mental health, including the 6-item Kessler Psychological Distress Scale. An anonymous link was also provided whereby health care providers could report cases of new-onset seizures or an exacerbation of seizures in the context of COVID-19. Finally, a separate questionnaire aimed at exploring the utilization of telehealth by health care professionals since the pandemic began was available on the ILAE website and also disseminated to its members. Seventeen case reports were received; data were limited and therefore no firm conclusions could be drawn. Of 590 respondents to the well-being survey (422 PWE, 166 caregivers), 22.8% PWE and 27.5% caregivers reported an increase in seizure frequency, with difficulty in accessing medication and health care professionals reported as barriers to care. Of all respondents, 57.1% PWE and 21.5% caregivers had severe psychological distress (k score >13), which was significantly higher among PWE than caregivers (p<0.01). An increase in telemedicine use during the COVID-19 pandemic was reported by health care professionals, with 40% of consultations conducted by this method. Although 74.9% of health care providers thought that this impacted positively, barriers to care were also identified. As we move forward, there is a need to ensure ongoing support and care for PWE to prevent a parallel pandemic of unmet health care needs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epilepsy/therapy , Pandemics , Caregivers , Communication , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Epilepsy/psychology , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Psychological Distress , Seizures/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/etiology , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telemedicine
5.
Clin Neurophysiol ; 132(9): 2248-2250, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366484

ABSTRACT

Restructuring of healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to lockdown of Epilepsy Monitoring Units (EMUs) in many hospitals. The ad-hoc taskforce of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) and the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology (IFCN) highlights the detrimental effect of postponing video-EEG monitoring of patients with epilepsy and other paroxysmal events. The taskforce calls for action to continue functioning of Epilepsy Monitoring Units during emergency situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Long-term video-EEG monitoring is an essential diagnostic service. Access to video-EEG monitoring of the patients in the EMUs must be given high priority. Patients should be screened for COVID-19, before admission, according to the local regulations. Local policies for COVID-19 infection control should be adhered to during the video-EEG monitoring. In cases of differential diagnosis where reduction of antiseizure medication is not required, consider home video-EEG monitoring as an alternative in selected patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Electroencephalography/standards , Epilepsy/diagnosis , Health Services Accessibility/standards , Neurophysiology/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Consensus , Electroencephalography/methods , Epilepsy/epidemiology , Epilepsy/physiopathology , Humans , Internationality , Monitoring, Physiologic/methods , Monitoring, Physiologic/standards , Neurophysiology/methods
6.
Epilepsia Open ; 6(2): 255-265, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1241502

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of many practices throughout the world. Through necessity to minimize spread and provide clinical care to those with severe disease, focus has been on limiting face-to-face contact. Research in many areas has been put on hold. We sought to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on epilepsy research from international basic science and clinical researchers. Responses to five questions were solicited through a convenience sample by direct email and through postings on the ILAE social media accounts and an ILAE online platform (utilizing Slack). Information was collected from 15 respondents in 11 countries by email or via Zoom interviews between May 19, 2020, and June 4, 2020. Several themes emerged including a move to virtual working, project delays with laboratory work halted and clinical work reduced, funding concerns, a worry about false data with regard to COVID research and concern about research time lost. However, a number of positive outcomes were highlighted, not least the efficiency of online working and other adaptations that could be sustained in the future.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Research , COVID-19 , Epilepsy/therapy , Telemedicine , Biomedical Research/methods , Biomedical Research/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Epilepsia ; 61(12): e198-e203, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-901038

ABSTRACT

Several emergencies were admitted less frequently to the hospital during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. To investigate whether this also occurred with status epilepticus (SE) we compared admissions due to first SE from March to April 2020 ("Time of COVID," TOC) with January to February 2020 ("pre-COVID," preCOV). We also compared admission numbers in TOC and preCOV with the respective 2-month periods in 2018 and 2019 in a retrospective cohort analysis. Two investigators independently searched the hospital patient database for various forms of SE. There was no significant change in the 2-month incidences of first SE in the city of Salzburg from preCOV of 6.1 (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.9-12.3) to TOC of 6.9/100 000 adults (95% CI 3.4-13.3). Admission numbers did not differ significantly from previous years. Estimated adjusted incidence was in line with a recent 5-year epidemiological study in Salzburg. However, a trend toward less-frequent nonconvulsive SE (NCSE) and loss of female predominance were indirect hints of underdiagnosing SE. In contrast to other medical conditions, SE most often presents clinically with impaired consciousness, which may promote admission to emergency departments even in times of lock-down. Further research of medical support of women and patients with NCSE during pandemic-related restrictions is warranted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Status Epilepticus/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Austria , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
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