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Epilepsy in Nicolaides–Baraitser Syndrome: Review of Literature and Report of 25 Patients Focusing on Treatment AspectsFunding This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Nicolaides–Baraitser syndrome (NCBRS), caused by a mutation in the SMARCA2 gene, which goes along with intellectual disability, congenital malformations, especially of face and limbs, and often difficult-to-treat epilepsy, is surveyed focusing on epilepsy and its treatment. Patients were recruited via “Network Therapy of Rare Epilepsies (NETRE)” and an international NCBRS parent support group. Inclusion criterion is NCBRS-defining SMARCA2 mutation. Clinical findings including epilepsy classification, anticonvulsive treatment, electroencephalogram (EEG) findings, and neurodevelopmental outcome were collected with an electronic questionnaire. Inclusion of 25 NCBRS patients with epilepsy in 23 of 25. Overall, 85% of the participants (17/20) reported generalized seizures, the semiology varied widely. EEG showed generalized epileptogenic abnormalities in 53% (9/17), cranial magnetic resonance imaging (cMRI) was mainly inconspicuous. The five most frequently used anticonvulsive drugs were valproic acid (VPA [12/20]), levetiracetam (LEV [12/20]), phenobarbital (PB [8/20]), topiramate (TPM [5/20]), and carbamazepine (CBZ [5/20]). LEV (9/12), PB (6/8), TPM (4/5), and VPA (9/12) reduced the seizures' frequency in more than 50%. Temporary freedom of seizures (>6 months) was reached with LEV (4/12), PB (3/8), TPM (1/5, only combined with PB and nitrazepam [NZP]), and VPA (4/12). Seizures aggravation was observed under lamotrigine (LTG [2/4]), LEV (1/12), PB (1/8), and VPA (1/12). Ketogenic diet (KD) and vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) reduced seizures' frequency in one of two each. This first worldwide retrospective analysis of anticonvulsive therapy in NCBRS helps to treat epilepsy in NCBRS that mostly shows only initial response to anticonvulsive therapy, especially with LEV and VPA, but very rarely shows complete freedom of seizures in this, rather genetic than structural epilepsy.
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Received: 16 July 2020
Accepted: 10 December 2020
12 February 2021 (online)
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