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1.
Acta Neurol Scand ; 143(2): 206-209, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388169

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Lockdown due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic became a challenge to maintain care for patients with epilepsy; we aimed to find out how the pandemic affected them. METHODS: We sent an online 22-item questionnaire to patients from our outpatient clinic, a reference centre in Spain for drug-resistant epilepsy, inquiring about the effects of lockdown, from March to May 2020. RESULTS: We sent the survey to 627 patients; 312 (58% women) sent a complete response and were included. Of all respondents, 57% took >2 antiseizure medications. One-third of respondents (29%) declared an associated cognitive or motor disability. A minority had confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2 (1.92%). Seizure frequency remained like usual in 56% of patients, while 31.2% reported an increase. Less than 10% needed emergent assistance. Almost half reported anxiety or depression, and 25% increased behavioural disorders. Mood (F: 5.40; p: 0.002) and sleep disorders (F = 2.67; p: 0.05) were associated with increase in seizure frequency. Patients were able to contact their physicians when needed and were open to a future telematic approach to follow-up visits. CONCLUSIONS: Seizure frequency and severity remained unchanged in most patients during the lockdown. Mood and sleep disorders were common and associated with seizure worsening. Patients were open to telematic care in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epilepsy/therapy , Pandemics , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Anticonvulsants/therapeutic use , Anxiety/complications , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cognition Disorders/complications , Communicable Disease Control , Depression/complications , Disabled Persons , Epilepsy/complications , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Disorders/complications , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Motor Disorders/complications , Outpatients , Seizures/epidemiology , Sleep Wake Disorders/classification , Sleep Wake Disorders/epidemiology , Spain/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telemedicine
2.
Curr Neurovasc Res ; 18(1): 162-168, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374189

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Robust evidence has described that Parkinson´s disease (PD) is associated with an increased risk for developing epileptic seizures. In fact, an interplay between PD and epilepsy has been of interest for many years. An emerging hypothesis is that inflammation could link both diseases. OBJECTIVE: Bearing in mind the experience of our group in the field of Ca2+/cAMP signalling pathways, this article discussed, beyond inflammation, the role of these signalling pathways in this link between PD and epilepsy. METHODS: Publications involving Ca2+/cAMP signalling pathways, PD, and epilepsy (alone or combined) were collected by searching PubMed and EMBASE. RESULTS: The comprehension of the interplay between PD and epilepsy could improve the drug therapy. In addition, a Ca2+ signalling dyshomeostasis due to Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), an emerging and rapidly evolving situation, has been reported. CONCLUSION: Thus, this article also debated recent findings about therapeutics involving Ca2+ channel blockers for preventing Ca2+ signalling dyshomeostasis due to COVID-19, including the correlation among COVID-19, epilepsy, and PD.


Subject(s)
Calcium Signaling , Cyclic AMP , Epilepsy/complications , Inflammation/complications , Parkinson Disease/complications , Signal Transduction , COVID-19/complications , Calcium Channel Blockers/therapeutic use , Epilepsy/physiopathology , Humans , Inflammation/physiopathology , Parkinson Disease/physiopathology
3.
Epilepsy Res ; 176: 106741, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356224

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: During the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, wearing face masks was recommended, including patients with epilepsy doing the hyperventilation (HV) test during electroencephalogram (EEG) examination somewhere. However, evidence was still limited about the effect of HV with face mask on cortical excitability of patients with epilepsy. The motivation of this work is to make use of the graph theory of EEG to characterize the cortical excitability of patients with epilepsy when they did HV under the condition wearing a surgical face mask. METHODS: We recruited 19 patients with epilepsy and 17 normal controls. All of participants completed two HV experiments, including HV with face mask (HV+) and HV without a mask (HV). The interval was 30 min and the sequence was random. Each experiment consisted of three segments: resting EEG, EEG of HV, and EEG of post-HV. EEG were recorded successively during each experiment. Participants were asked to evaluate the discomfort degree using a questionnaire when every HV is completed. RESULTS: All of the participants felt more uncomfortable after HV + . Moreover, not only HV decreased small-worldness index in patients with epilepsy, but also HV + significantly increased the clustering coefficient in patients with epilepsy. Importantly, the three-way of Mask*HV*Epilepsy showed interaction in the clustering coefficient in the delta band, as well as in the path length and the small-worldness index in the theta band. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study indicated that patients with epilepsy showed the increased excitability of brain network during HV + . We should pay more attention to the adverse effect on brain network excitability caused by HV + in patients with epilepsy. In the clinical practice under the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that the wearing face mask remain cautious for the individuals with epilepsy when they carried out HV behavior such as exercise (e.g., running, etc.).


Subject(s)
Epilepsy/complications , Hyperventilation/etiology , Masks/adverse effects , Nerve Net/physiopathology , Adult , Brain/physiopathology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Case-Control Studies , Electroencephalography , Epilepsy/physiopathology , Female , Humans , Hyperventilation/physiopathology , Male
4.
Epilepsy Behav ; 122: 108184, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305328

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether published studies that identified a causal relationship between psychological stress and seizure worsening in patients with epilepsy during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic considered the temporality of Hill's criteria. METHOD: A systematic review approach was used to comprehensively search MEDLINE, CENTRAL, EMBASE, and ClinicalTrials.gov databases for relevant studies. Studies that reported an association between psychological stress and seizure worsening in patients with epilepsy during the COVID-19 pandemic were included accordingly. The quality of assessments in each study was evaluated and an assessment for considering temporality in the causal relationship between the two events in each study was carried out. RESULTS: Seventeen studies were included in the analysis. Most (14/17) were cross-sectional studies and only four out of these 17 studies (23.5%) considered temporality in the causality. Further, these four studies did not consider temporality in the study design, they only described it as a limitation. CONCLUSION: We found that many articles reported a causal relationship between psychological stress and seizure worsening without considering temporality. As both researchers and readers, we need to consider temporality when interpreting the causal relationship between increased psychological stress and seizure worsening in patients with epilepsy during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epilepsy , Cross-Sectional Studies , Epilepsy/complications , Epilepsy/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Seizures/epidemiology , Seizures/etiology , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/etiology
5.
Epilepsy Behav ; 118: 107919, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253750

ABSTRACT

Insular epilepsy is increasingly recognized in epilepsy surgery centers. Recent studies suggest that resection of an epileptogenic zone that involves the insula as a treatment for drug-resistant seizures is associated with good outcomes in terms of seizure control. However, despite the existing evidence of a role of the insula in emotions and affective information processing, the long-term psychological outcome of patients undergoing these surgeries remain poorly documented. A group of 27 adults (18 women) who underwent an insulo-opercular resection (in combination with a part of the temporal lobe in 10, and of the frontal lobe in 5) as part of epilepsy surgery at our center between 2004 and 2019 completed psychometric questionnaires to assess depression (Beck Depression Inventory - 2nd edition; BDI-II), anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Trait Version; STAI-T), and quality of life (Patient Weighted Quality of Life In Epilepsy; QOLIE-10-P). Scores were compared to those of patients who had standard temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) surgery with similar socio-demographic and disease characteristics. Seizure control after insular epilepsy surgery was comparable to that observed after TLE surgery, with a majority of patients reporting being seizure free (insular: 63.0%; temporal: 63.2%) or having rare disabling seizures (insular: 7.4%; temporal: 18.4%) at the time of questionnaire completion. Statistical comparisons revealed no significant group difference on scores of depression, anxiety, or quality of life. Hemisphere or extent of insular resection had no significant effect on the studied variables. In the total sample, employment status and seizure control, but not location of surgery, significantly predicted quality of life. Self-reported long-term psychological status after insulo-opercular resection as part of epilepsy surgery thus appears to be similar to that observed after TLE surgery, which is commonly performed in epilepsy surgery centers.


Subject(s)
Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe , Epilepsy , Adult , Anxiety/etiology , Cerebral Cortex , Depression/etiology , Epilepsy/complications , Epilepsy/surgery , Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe/complications , Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe/surgery , Female , Humans , Male , Quality of Life
6.
Epilepsy Res ; 174: 106675, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1233420

ABSTRACT

In regard to the global pandemic of COVID-19, it seems that persons with epilepsy (PWE) are not more vulnerable to get infected by SARS-CoV-2, nor are they more susceptible to a critical course of the disease. However, management of acute seizures in patients with COVID-19 as well as management of PWE and COVID-19 needs to consider potential drug-drug interactions between antiseizure drugs and candidate drugs currently assessed as therapeutic options for COVID-19. Repurposing of several licensed and investigational drugs is discussed for therapeutic management of COVID-19. While for none of these approaches, efficacy and tolerability has been confirmed yet in sufficiently powered and controlled clinical studies, testing is ongoing with multiple clinical trials worldwide. Here, we have summarized the possible mechanisms of action of drugs currently considered as potential therapeutic options for COVID-19 management along with possible and confirmed drug-drug interactions that should be considered for a combination of antiseizure drugs and COVID-19 candidate drugs. Our review suggests that potential drug-drug interactions should be taken into account with drugs such as chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir while remdesivir and tocilizumab may be less prone to clinically relevant interactions with ASMs.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/adverse effects , Anticonvulsants/adverse effects , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , COVID-19/drug therapy , Enzyme Inhibitors/adverse effects , Epilepsy/drug therapy , Adenosine Monophosphate/adverse effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/adverse effects , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Amides/adverse effects , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/adverse effects , COVID-19/complications , Chloroquine/adverse effects , Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A Inducers/adverse effects , Dexamethasone/adverse effects , Drug Combinations , Drug Interactions , Epilepsy/complications , Glucocorticoids/adverse effects , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects , Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein/adverse effects , Ivermectin/adverse effects , Lopinavir , Pyrazines/adverse effects , Ritonavir , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Epileptic Disord ; 23(2): 268-273, 2021 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1177866

ABSTRACT

The current study screened major depression in people with epilepsy (PWE) during the epidemic of the novel coronavirus-related disease COVID-19, in order to identify whether the outbreak generated negative psychological impact on PWE. A Chinese version of the Neurological Disorders Depression Inventory for Epilepsy (C-NDDI-E), a self-reporting depression inventory, was applied for rapid detection of major depression. Assessment was carried out online during three different periods (prior to, during, and after the outbreak of COVID-19), with the aim of identifying changes in prevalence of depression and associated risk factors. A total of 158 PWE were recruited into the study (48.7% female). The questionnaire completion rates were 94.3% and 70.9% during and after the outbreak, respectively. The prevalence of depression prior to the epidemic, as the baseline, was 34.8% and increased to 42.3% during the period of the epidemic. Towards the end of the outbreak, the prevalence declined towards the baseline (36.6%). Factors such as living alone (OR = 4.022, 95% CI: 1.158-13.971, P = 0.028) and active seizures before the epidemic (OR = 2.993, 95% CI: 1.197-7.486, P = 0.019) were associated with depression during the epidemic. Monotherapy appeared to be protective against depression (OR = 0. 105, 95% CI: 0.047-0.235, P <0.001). Our results suggest that the pandemic exerts negative influence on PWE's mental health. Depression is one of the common psychological disorders that needs greater attention during this extraordinary period.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Depression/complications , Depression/epidemiology , Epilepsy/complications , Epilepsy/epidemiology , Pandemics , Adult , Anticonvulsants/therapeutic use , China/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Prevalence , Risk Factors , Seizures/drug therapy , Seizures/epidemiology , Self Report , Socioeconomic Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
9.
Epileptic Disord ; 23(2): 257-267, 2021 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154136

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This study sought to understand issues facing people with epilepsy (PWE) during the lockdown period of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study using a 20-question survey that used SeziureTracker.com, sent to eligible PWE and their caregivers on May 6th, 2020. Questions about demographics and medical history were used to calculate COVID mortality risk odds ratios (OR) compared to a low baseline risk group. RESULTS: In total, 505 responses were collected. Of these, 71% reported no change in seizure rates and 25% reported an increase in seizures, which they attributed primarily to disrupted sleep (63%) and decreased exercise (42%). Mortality risks from COVID-19 had median OR of 1.67, ranging 1.00-906.98. Fear about hospitalization (53%) and concern for loved ones (52%) were prominent concerns. Of the respondents, 5% reported stopping or reducing anti-seizure medications due to problems communicating with doctors, access or cost. Lower-risk COVID patients reported more fear of hospitalization (55% versus 38%, p<0.001) and anxiety about medication access (43% versus 28%, p=0.03) compared with higher-risk COVID patients. Increased anxiety was reported in 47%, and increased depression in 28%. Ten percent without generalized convulsions and 8% with did not know anything about epilepsy devices (VNS, RNS, DBS). SIGNIFICANCE: The COVID-19 pandemic presents unique challenges to PWE, including increased seizure rates, problems with access and cost of life-saving medications. Those with lower COVID-19 risk may have been marginalized more than those with higher risk. Efforts to protect PWE during major public health emergencies should take these findings into account.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epilepsy/complications , Pandemics , Quarantine , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anticonvulsants/administration & dosage , Anticonvulsants/therapeutic use , Caregivers , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Epilepsy/mortality , Epilepsy/psychology , Fear , Health Services Accessibility , Hospitalization , Humans , Infant , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , Seizures/epidemiology , Socioeconomic Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
10.
Epilepsy Behav ; 118: 107864, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1142314

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 pandemic heavily hit the western healthcare system saturating the hospital beds in wards and clogging the emergency departments. To avoid the collapse of Italian hospitals, office visits to outpatients were limited to emergencies and the general population went in a lockdown state. Physicians had to approach new problems in the management of chronic patients who could not leave their homes. In our experience as epilepsy clinic, the use of telemedicine was of crucial importance for monitoring our patients: phone call during lockdown let us monitor the stability of our 38 patients and psychometric parameters and habits that could influence seizures frequency. In particular, we found that in our patients, sleep quality was low resulting in high daily sleepiness and associated high stress levels. Secondly, we found an increase in daily screen hours and an association with daily sleepiness. In conclusion, we report our experience in managing people with epilepsy during the lockdown, underlining the utility of telemedicine as a valid monitoring tool and the necessity of a psychometric and behavioral screening.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epilepsy , Telemedicine , Communicable Disease Control , Epilepsy/complications , Epilepsy/epidemiology , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sleep
11.
Clin Neurol Neurosurg ; 203: 106592, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1116476

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: following the COVID-19 pandemic, a quarantine was imposed to all of regions Italy by 9th March until 3rd May 2020. We investigated the effect of COVID-19 infection and quarantine on seizure frequency in adult people with epilepsy (PwE) of Apulia and Basilicata regions, Southern Italy. METHODS: This is an observational, retrospective study based on prospective data collection of 102 successive PWE. The frequency of seizures was evaluated during pre-quarantine (January- February), quarantine (March-April), and post-quarantine period (May-June), while PwE were divided into A) cases responding to treatment with ≤ 1 seizure per year; B) cases responding to treatment with 2-5 seizure per year; C) cases with drug-resistant epilepsy with ≤ 4 seizures per month; D) cases with drug-resistant epilepsy with 5-10 seizures per month. PwE underwent several self-report questionnaires regarding therapeutic compliance, mood, stress and sleep during quarantine period. RESULTS: Approximately 50 % of PwE showed seizure frequency changes (22.55 % an increase and 27.45 % a reduction) during quarantine. Seizure frequency significantly (p < 0.05) increased in PwE responding to treatment with ≤ 1 seizure per year, while significantly (p < 0.05) reduced in PwE with drug-resistant epilepsy with 5-10 seizures per month. The data was not influenced by therapeutic adherence, sleep and depression. The analysis of anxiety showed a moderate level of anxiety in PwE responding to treatment with < 1 seizure per year, while moderate stress was perceived by all PwE. Seizure frequency changes were related to quarantine, but not to COVID-19 infection. In fact, unlike other regions of Italy, particularly Northern Italy, Apulia and Basilicata regions were less affected by COVID-19 infection, and almost all PwE recognized the quarantine as a stressful event. Emotional distress and anxiety due to social isolation, but also the relative reduction of triggers for epileptic seizures were the most important factors for changes in seizure frequency. CONCLUSIONS: Our study adds to the growing concern that the indirect effects of COVID-19 pandemic will far outstrip the direct consequences of the infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Epilepsy/complications , Quarantine/psychology , Seizures/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Affect , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Physical Distancing , Psychological Distress , Retrospective Studies , Self Report , Sleep , Young Adult
12.
Epilepsy Behav ; 117: 107849, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1078232

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to determine the relationship among the clinical, logistic, and psychological impacts of COVID-19 on people with epilepsy (PWE), and the impact of COVID-19 on the quality of life. METHOD: This is a cross-sectional anonymized web-based study on PWE, using an online questionnaire to assess the clinical, logistic, and psychological impacts of COVID-19, including Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS) and Quality of Life in Epilepsy Inventory (QOLIE-31). RESULT: 461 patients were recruited, with a mean age of 39.21 ±â€¯15.88 years, majority female (50.1%), with focal epilepsy (54.0%), and experienced seizures at least once yearly (62.5%). There were 13.0% experienced seizure worsening during COVID-19 period, which were associated with baseline seizures frequency ≥ 1 per month (32.0% vs. 6.2%, p < 0.001), worries of seizure worsening (18.0% vs. 10.9%, p < 0.001), difficulty to go emergency unit (24.4% vs. 10.4%, p < 0.001), AEDs ran out of stock (23.2% vs. 11.6%, p < 0.05), self-adjustment of AED dosages (26.4% vs. 11.3%, p < 0.001), inadequate sleep (22.4% vs. 9.2%, p < 0.001), and stress (23.4% vs.10.1%, p < 0.01). Participants experiencing seizure worsening reported greater anxiety (8.10 ±â€¯5.011 vs. 4.84 ±â€¯3.989, p < 0.001) and depression (6.05 ±â€¯3.868 vs. 3.86 ±â€¯3.589, p < 0.001). Logistic regression showed baseline seizures frequency >1 per month (OR, 14.10) followed by anxiety (OR, 3.90), inadequate sleep (OR, 0.37), and treated in UMMC (OR, 0.31) as the predictors for seizure worsening during COVID-19 period. Poorer total QOLIE-31 score was noted in those with seizure worsening (48.01 ±â€¯13.040 vs. 62.15 ±â€¯15.222, p < 0.001). Stepwise regression highlighted depression as the main negative predictor for quality of life (ß = -0.372, p < 0.001), followed by anxiety (ß = -0.345, p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: A significant number of PWE experienced seizure worsening during COVID-19 period, which was related to the clinical, logistic, and psychological factors. Quality of life was affected by the seizure worsening and the psychological stress.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epilepsy , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Epilepsy/complications , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
13.
Seizure ; 84: 66-68, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065590

ABSTRACT

Symptoms of COVID-19, as reported during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in 2019-2020, are primarily respiratory and gastrointestinal, with sparse reports on neurological manifestations. We describe the case of a 17-year old female with Cornelia de Lange syndrome and well controlled epilepsy, who sustained significant cortical injury during a COVID-19 associated multi-inflammatory syndrome.


Subject(s)
Brain Diseases/physiopathology , COVID-19/physiopathology , De Lange Syndrome/complications , Epilepsy/physiopathology , Seizures/physiopathology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/physiopathology , Acute Kidney Injury/etiology , Adolescent , Airway Extubation , Anticonvulsants/therapeutic use , Blood Coagulation Disorders/etiology , Bone Marrow Failure Disorders , Brain Diseases/diagnostic imaging , Brain Diseases/etiology , Brain Diseases/pathology , Brain Edema/diagnostic imaging , Brain Edema/etiology , C-Reactive Protein/immunology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Disease Progression , Electroencephalography , Epilepsy/complications , Epilepsy/drug therapy , Female , Ferritins/metabolism , Humans , Influenza B virus , Influenza, Human/complications , Levetiracetam/therapeutic use , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Midazolam/therapeutic use , Necrosis , Phenobarbital/therapeutic use , Pseudomonas Infections/complications , Respiration, Artificial , Rhabdomyolysis/complications , Rhabdomyolysis/etiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Seizures/drug therapy , Seizures/etiology , Sepsis/etiology , Sepsis/physiopathology , Sepsis/therapy , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/complications , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/therapy , Tachycardia, Ventricular/etiology , Tachycardia, Ventricular/physiopathology , Tachycardia, Ventricular/therapy
15.
Epilepsia ; 62(1): 41-50, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-951116

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Our epilepsy population recently experienced the acute effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City. Herein, we aimed to determine patient-perceived seizure control during the surge, specific variables associated with worsened seizures, the prevalence of specific barriers to care, and patient-perceived efficacy of epilepsy care delivered via telephone and live video visits during the pandemic. METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional questionnaire study of adult epilepsy patients who had a scheduled appointment at a single urban Comprehensive Epilepsy Center (Montefiore Medical Center) between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020 during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Bronx. Subjects able to answer the questionnaire themselves in English or Spanish were eligible to complete a one-time survey via telephone or secure online platform (REDCap). RESULTS: Of 1212 subjects screened, 675 were eligible, and 177 adequately completed the questionnaire. During the COVID-19 pandemic, 75.1% of patients reported no change in seizure control, whereas 17.5% reported that their seizure control had worsened, and 7.3% reported improvement. Subjects who reported worsened seizure control had more frequent seizures at baseline, were more likely to identify stress and headaches/migraines as their typical seizure precipitants, and were significantly more likely to report increased stress related to the pandemic. Subjects with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 did not report worsened seizure control. Nearly 17% of subjects reported poorer epilepsy care, and 9.6% had difficulty obtaining their antiseizure medications; these subjects were significantly more likely to report worse seizure control. SIGNIFICANCE: Of the nearly 20% of subjects who reported worsened seizure control during the COVID-19 pandemic, stress and barriers to care appear to have posed the greatest challenge. This unprecedented pandemic exacerbated existing and created new barriers to epilepsy care, which must be addressed.


Subject(s)
Attitude to Health , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/psychology , Epilepsy/psychology , Epilepsy/therapy , Health Services Accessibility , Stress, Psychological/complications , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Urban Population , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anticonvulsants/therapeutic use , Cross-Sectional Studies , Epilepsy/complications , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , New York City , Patient Satisfaction , Remote Consultation , Surveys and Questionnaires , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
16.
Acta Neurol Scand ; 143(2): 206-209, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-930176

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Lockdown due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic became a challenge to maintain care for patients with epilepsy; we aimed to find out how the pandemic affected them. METHODS: We sent an online 22-item questionnaire to patients from our outpatient clinic, a reference centre in Spain for drug-resistant epilepsy, inquiring about the effects of lockdown, from March to May 2020. RESULTS: We sent the survey to 627 patients; 312 (58% women) sent a complete response and were included. Of all respondents, 57% took >2 antiseizure medications. One-third of respondents (29%) declared an associated cognitive or motor disability. A minority had confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2 (1.92%). Seizure frequency remained like usual in 56% of patients, while 31.2% reported an increase. Less than 10% needed emergent assistance. Almost half reported anxiety or depression, and 25% increased behavioural disorders. Mood (F: 5.40; p: 0.002) and sleep disorders (F = 2.67; p: 0.05) were associated with increase in seizure frequency. Patients were able to contact their physicians when needed and were open to a future telematic approach to follow-up visits. CONCLUSIONS: Seizure frequency and severity remained unchanged in most patients during the lockdown. Mood and sleep disorders were common and associated with seizure worsening. Patients were open to telematic care in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epilepsy/therapy , Pandemics , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Anticonvulsants/therapeutic use , Anxiety/complications , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cognition Disorders/complications , Communicable Disease Control , Depression/complications , Disabled Persons , Epilepsy/complications , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Disorders/complications , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Motor Disorders/complications , Outpatients , Seizures/epidemiology , Sleep Wake Disorders/classification , Sleep Wake Disorders/epidemiology , Spain/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telemedicine
17.
Seizure ; 83: 89-97, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-867108

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Traditional neuropsychological testing carries elevated COVID-19 risk for both examinee and examiner. Here we describe how the pilot study of the Australian Epilepsy Project (AEP) has transitioned to tele-neuropsychology (teleNP), enabling continued safe operations during the pandemic. METHODS: The AEP includes adults (age 18-60) with a first unprovoked seizure, new diagnosis of epilepsy or drug resistant focal epilepsy. Shortly after launching the study, COVID-related restrictions necessitated adaptation to teleNP, including delivery of verbal tasks via videoconference; visual stimulus delivery via document camera; use of web-hosted, computerised assessment; substitution of oral versions for written tests; online delivery of questionnaires; and discontinuation of telehealth incompatible tasks. RESULTS: To date, we have completed 24 teleNP assessments: 18 remotely (participant in own home) and six on-site (participant using equipment at research facility). Five face-to-face assessments were conducted prior to the transition to teleNP. Eight of 408 tests administered via teleNP (1.9 %) have been invalidated, for a variety of reasons (technical, procedural, environmental). Data confirm typical patterns of epilepsy-related deficits (p < .05) affecting processing speed, executive function, language and memory. Questionnaire responses indicate elevated rates of patients at high risk of mood (34 %) and anxiety disorder (38 %). CONCLUSION: Research teleNP assessments reveal a typical pattern of impairments in epilepsy. A range of issues must be considered when introducing teleNP, such as technical and administrative set up, test selection and delivery, and cohort suitability. TeleNP enables large-scale neuropsychological research during periods of social distancing (and beyond), and offers an opportunity to expand the reach and breadth of neuropsychological services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Epilepsy/virology , Executive Function/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Telemedicine , Australia , COVID-19/complications , Epilepsy/complications , Humans , Neuropsychological Tests , Neuropsychology/methods , Pilot Projects , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telemedicine/methods
18.
World Neurosurg ; 144: 140-142, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-800521

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The occurrence of large-vessel occlusion in young patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection has been exceedingly rare. An extensive review of reported studies revealed a few reported cases. In the present report, we have described the clinical presentation, radiological findings, and outcome of large-vessel occlusion in a young patient with COVID-19 and reviewed the pertinent reported data on this condition. CASE DESCRIPTION: A 31-year-old woman was in her usual state of health until she had presented with a 3-day history of right-sided weakness, slurred speech, and decreased vision. The patient had been taken to several hospitals where she had been treated conservatively with analgesics and discharged. Shortly thereafter, her weakness had become progressive. She had become severely dysarthric and unresponsive. On arrival to the emergency department, her physical examination revealed that she was stuporous, with a Glasgow coma scale of 10 (eye response, 3; verbal response, 2; motor response, 5). The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score was 19 on presentation. Brain computed tomography and computed tomography venography revealed an occluded left internal carotid artery and left middle cerebral artery with subacute left middle cerebral artery territory infarction and midline shift. Computed tomography angiography revealed complete occlusion of the left common carotid artery. An emergent decompressive craniectomy was successfully performed. The patient was shifted to the intensive care unit. She was later found to be positive for COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: Although rare, patients with COVID-19 can present with large-vessel occlusion. Prompt identification of COVID-19-related coagulopathy is essential to assess young patients with clinical manifestations of infarction.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Carotid Artery Thrombosis/etiology , Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery/etiology , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , Carotid Artery Thrombosis/diagnostic imaging , Carotid Artery Thrombosis/surgery , Carotid Artery, Common , Computed Tomography Angiography , Decompressive Craniectomy , Dysarthria/etiology , Epilepsy/complications , Female , Hemiplegia/etiology , Humans , Hypertension/complications , Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery/diagnostic imaging , Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery/surgery , Stupor/etiology , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
19.
Epileptic Disord ; 22(4): 439-442, 2020 Aug 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-695751

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic shook European healthcare systems, with unavoidable gaps in the management of patients with chronic diseases. We describe the impact of the pandemic on epilepsy care in three tertiary epilepsy centres from Spain and Italy, the most affected European countries. The three epilepsy centres, members of the European EpiCARE network, manage more than 5,700 people with epilepsy. In Bologna and Barcelona, the hospitals housing the epilepsy centres were fully converted into COVID-19 units. We describe the reorganization of the clinics and report on the frequency of SARS-CoV-2 in people with epilepsy as well as the frequency of seizures in patients admitted to the COVID units. Finally, we elaborate on critical issues regarding the second phase of the pandemic. The activities related to epilepsy care were reduced to less than 10% and were deprioritized. Discharges were expedited and elective epilepsy surgeries, including vagal nerve stimulator implantations, cancelled. Hospitalizations and EEG examinations were limited to emergencies. The outpatient visits for new patients were postponed, and follow-up visits mostly managed by telehealth. Antiseizure medication weaning plans and changes in vagal nerve stimulator settings were halted. Among the 5,700 people with epilepsy managed in our centres, only 14 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, without obvious impact on their epilepsy. None of the 2,122 patients admitted to COVID units experienced seizures among the early symptoms. Epilepsy care was negatively impacted by the pandemic, irrespective of COVID-19 epidemiology or conversion of the hospital into a COVID-19 centre. The pandemic did not silence the needs of people with epilepsy, and this must be considered in the planning of the second phase.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Epilepsy/therapy , Health Services Needs and Demand/trends , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Electroencephalography/statistics & numerical data , Epilepsy/complications , Epilepsy/surgery , Europe , Health Services Needs and Demand/statistics & numerical data , Hospital Units/organization & administration , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Italy , Neurosurgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Seizures/epidemiology , Seizures/etiology , Spain , Telemedicine
20.
Epilepsy Behav ; 112: 107335, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-662646

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has rapidly become a global pandemic, with over 1.8 million confirmed cases worldwide to date. Preliminary reports suggest that the disease may present in diverse ways, including with neurological symptoms, but few published reports in the literature describe seizures in patients with COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to characterize the risk factors, clinical features, and outcomes of seizures in patients with COVID-19. METHODS: This is a retrospective case series. Cases were identified through a review of admissions and consultations to the neurology and neurocritical care services between April 1, 2020 and May 15, 2020. SETTING: The study setting was in a tertiary care, safety-net hospital in Boston, MA. PARTICIPANTS: Patients presenting with seizures and COVID-19 during the study period were included in the study. RESULTS: Seven patients met inclusion criteria (5 females, 71%). Patients ranged in age from 37 to 88 years (median: 75 years). Three patients had a prior history of well-controlled epilepsy (43%), while 4 patients had new-onset seizures, including 2 patients with prior history of remote stroke. Three patients had no preceding symptoms of COVID-19 prior to presentation (57%), and in all cases, seizures were the symptom that prompted presentation to the emergency department, regardless of prior symptoms of COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: Provoking factors for seizures in patients with COVID-19 may include metabolic factors, systemic illness, and possibly direct effects of the virus. In endemic areas with community spread of COVID-19, clinicians should be vigilant for the infection in patients who present with seizures, which may precede respiratory symptoms or prompt presentation to medical care. Early testing, isolation, and contact tracking of these patients can prevent further transmission of the virus.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Seizures/physiopathology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anticonvulsants/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus , Boston , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Emergency Service, Hospital , Epilepsy/complications , Epilepsy/drug therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Seizures/drug therapy , Seizures/etiology
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