RATE OF FREEDOM FROM SEIZURE MAY BE HIGHER THAN
EXPECTED IN PATIENTS WITH EPILEPSY. Patients with
established epilepsy may have a 48% chance of becoming
seizure-free, according to research by Nathan
B. Fountain, MD, associate professor of neurology, and
colleagues at the University of Virginia (UVA), Charlottesville.
Although the rate of freedom from seizure
is unknown except for in a few specific epilepsy syndromes,
the authors hypothesized that the rate may be
higher than expected.
The researchers prospectively collected data from
established and new patients with definite epilepsy
who were older than 5 years and seen in the UVA
Freedom from seizure was defined as no seizures
for at least 6 months in patients who previously had
had 3 or more seizures. Baseline seizure frequency for
these patients was as follows: 15% had more than 15
per month, 56% had 1 to 15 per month, and 21% had
fewer than 1 per month.
Of these 988 patients, 243 (25%) were seizure-free
by the end of the study; an additional 231 (23%) had
previously achieved freedom from seizures, and 514
(52%) continued to experience seizures. Among those
patients who became seizure-free, mean follow-up
time was 24.5 months and mean duration of freedom
from seizure was 20.9 months.
Patients with generalized seizures or idiopathic
generalized and idiopathic localization-related epilepsy
were more likely to become seizure-free. The researchers
noted, however, that some seizure freedom
can occur in any patient regardless of seizure type.
GLUCOSE METABOLISM MAY EFFECT DURATION OF TEMPORAL
LOBE EPILEPSY. Asymmetry of glucose metabolism
in the temporal lobes of persons with temporal
lobe epilepsy (TLE) may be associated with the duration
of epilepsy, according to research presented by
Cigdem I. Akman, MD, assistant professor in clinical
neurology and pediatrics at Columbia University in
New York City. Akman and colleagues used 2-deoxy-2-
[18F]fluoro-D-glucose positron emission tomography
(18FDG/PET) to assess interictal functioning in TLE.
Fifty patients with pharmacologically resistant TLE
received 18FDG/PET as part of a presurgical evaluation.
Twenty-six patients had right TLE and 24 had left
TLE. The mean patient age at the time of PET scan was
37 years in both groups, and the duration of epilepsy,
age at onset, number of medications, and level of education
were similar for both groups.