ObjectivePathogenic variants in SCN1A can give rise to extremely variable disease severities that may be indistinguishable at their first presentation. We aim to find clinical features that can help predict the evolution of seizures into Dravet syndrome and clinical features that predict cognitive outcome in Dravet syndrome. We specifically investigate the role of contraindicated medication (CIM) as a possible modifier of cognitive decline.
MethodsA cohort of 164 Dutch participants with SCN1A-related seizures was evaluated. Clinical data were collected from medical records and semistructured telephone interviews. Cognitive function was classified by a child neurologist, neuropsychologist, and clinical geneticist. Several clinical variables, including duration of CIM use in the first 5years of disease, were evaluated in univariate and multivariate analyses.
ResultsA longer duration of CIM use in the first 5years after seizure onset was significantly associated with a worse cognitive outcome at time of inclusion, and with lower interpolated intelligence quotient/developmental quotient scores after the first 5years of disease in Dravet syndrome patients. CIM use remained a significant predictor for cognitive outcome in a multivariate regression model, as did age at the first observation of developmental delay and age at first afebrile seizure. Age at first afebrile seizure was the most accurate predictor for evolution of seizures into Dravet syndrome for the complete cohort.
SignificanceOur data suggest that a longer CIM use in the first 5years of disease can have negative effects on cognitive outcome in Dravet syndrome. An early diagnosis is essential to avoid these drugs. Furthermore, we identified age at first afebrile seizure as an important predictor for evolution of seizures into Dravet syndrome and for the severity of Dravet syndrome, which can be used to counsel parents of young patients with SCN1A-related seizures.
- Dravet syndrome
- sodium-channel blockers
- SEVERE MYOCLONIC EPILEPSY
- LONG-TERM COURSE
- SCN1A MUTATIONS
- FEBRILE SEIZURES