Clinical Neuroscience

[The efficacy of lacosamide in relation to antiepileptic drug history. Clinical experiences in adult partial epilepsy]


JANUARY 30, 2015

Clinical Neuroscience - 2015;68(01-02)

[Objective - A retrospective study in adult partial epilepsy on the efficacy of lacosamide in relation to previous antiepileptic drug experiences. Method - We analysed 3-65 months’ data on epilepsy-care of 43 pharmacoresistant partial epilepsy patients treated with lacosamide. Further analysis of antiepileptic drug history was carried out in strictly selected subgroups of patients with good and poor therapeutic response to lacosamide (10 and 9 patients, respectively) for 2-10 years long retrospective follow up. Patients - Adult patients with partial-onset seizures had been treated previously with three or more lifetime antiepileptic drugs without permanent success. Results - Six patients (14%) were seizure free, eleven patients (25%) have experienced important improvement (their seizure-frequency decreased by at least 50%) for more than 12 months. Fourteen patients (32%) improved for less than 6 months and then have relapsed; and add-on lacosamide proved ineffective in 12 patients (28%). Those selected 10 patients successfully treated with lacosamide (seizure free for at least six months) favourably responded to carbamazepine or oxcarbazepine earlier and levetiracetam was ineffective or even caused worsening. The selected lacosamide-unresponsive nine patients responded unfavourably to carbamazepine or oxcarbazepine earlier. Fifteen patients (35%) suffered side effects as dizziness or sleepiness, in 11 of them lacosamide was combined with a „traditional” sodium-channal blocker antiepileptic drug. Conclusion - Lacosamide is an effective add-on antiepileptic drug in difficult-to treat adult partial epilepsy patients. Our data suggest that good lacosamide response may be expected in those patients who reacted favourably to „traditional” sodium-channel blocker carabamazepine or oxcarbazepine earlier.]



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Clinical Neuroscience


RAJNA Péter, TAJTI János

Clinical Neuroscience

[Extending therapeutic possibilities in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: dimethyl fumarate]


[Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is a novel oral therapy that has recently been approved for the treatment of relapsing- remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Dimethyl fumarate shows anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective properties that are thought to be mediated primarily via activation of the nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 - Nrf2 transcriptional pathway, which up-regulates the genes involved in the cellular response to oxidative stress. The drug was evaluated in 2 large, randomized, double-blind, multicentric, multinational, 2-year, phase III clinical trials. The DEFINE and CONFIRM trials, conducted with over 2600 adult patients suffering from RRMS, unequivocally confirmed the efficacy of DMF (2×240 mg daily) in reducing the annualized relapse rate (ARR) and reducing the proportion of patients with MS relapse at 2 years. Significantly reduced sustained disability progression was observed with the drug versus placebo in DEFINE, while the same tendency was seen in CONFIRM. The MRI results of the studies were also convincing: DMF significantly reduced the number of new/enlarging T2-hyperintense lesions and the number of Gd-enhancing lesions compared to placebo. Dimethyl fumarate was generally well tolerated and no safety concern has been raised. Adverse events that occurred most frequently included flushing and gastrointestinal events. The long- term efficacy and tolerability of dimethyl fumarate is currently being investigated in the ENDORSE trial, with interim results demonstrating the same results as the two previous studies. In conclusion, although further, mostly comparative data are needed to fully establish the relative efficacy and tolerability of dimethyl fumarate compared with other therapies, dimethyl-fumarate is a valuable addition to the therapeutic options available for RRMS.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Role of modified open-door laminoplasty in the treatment of multilevel cervical spinal stenosis: a retrospective analysis of 43 cases]


[Background and purpose - Symptomatic degenerative multilevel cervical spinal stenosis - beside other methods - is often treated using the open-door laminoplasty. This procedure aims to decompress the spinal cord and preserve the stability of the cervical spine. The efficiency and safety of the method was proved by numerous Japanese and American studies, also the technique related complications are well known. We treated 43 patients with symptomatic multilevel cervical spine stenosis using the open-door laminoplasty as a surgical procedure of choice in the National Institute of Clinical Neurosciences between 2009 and 2012. In this article we analyse our results and the related literature is discussed. Methods - Symptomatic patients with a minimum of three-segment cervical spine stenosis and radiologically proved myelopathy or with electrophisiologically verified subclinical myelopathy were selected for laminoplasty. Patients in whom cervical kyphosis was present were operated on using laminectomy and posterior fusion. Postoperative control CT, MRI and/or X-ray images were made after the surgery and at six weeks, three, six and 12 months after the operation and in the same time neurological evaluation was performed. The modified Japanase Orthopaedic Association (mJOA) scale value was assigned to patients preoperatively, six weeks, three, six and 12 months after the operation. The statistical difference between the groups of data was tested by chi square test. Results - The average follow-up time was 27 months (minimum seven, maximum 42). According to the mJOA scale, 26 patient’s condition (61%) improved, in 13 cases (30%) remained unchanged, and in one case (2%) we detected neurological deterioration. We lost three patients during the follow up period. The median of mJOA preoperatively was 12 (minimum eight, maximum 18), while six week postoperative mJOA was 14 (minimum 10, maximum 17). Three, six and 12 months mean value of mJOA was 14 which shows that the improvement in patients’ condition remained stable at one year after surgery. The difference was statistically significant (p<0.05). The canal’s average anteroposterior diameter on CT was 8.29±0.92 mm at the level of C III, while after the operation we measured 15.16±1.02 mm; 7.54±0.62 mm at the level of C IV before, and 15.29±0.2 mm after; 9.05±0.48 mm at the level of C V before and 17.23±0.4 mm after the surgery. The differences proved to be significant (p=0.0001). Conclusion - According to our experiences the modified open-door laminoplasty is an efficient and safe method for the treatment of symptomatic multilevel cervical spinal stenosis.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Assessment of severity and time course of critical illness neuropathy in septic patients: a prospective observational study]


[Objective - In this prospective observational study we investigated electrophysiological alterations in the early phase of critical illness and correlated electrophysiological findings with the clinical picture and outcome. Methods - We enrolled 21 critically ill surgical patients having ≥12 Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II scores on admission. Routine non-invasive bilateral electroneurography (ENG) examination of median and ulnar nerves was done on five consecutive days starting in two days after admission. Then weekly follow-up was performed. Motor and sensory nerve conduction indices were calculated and correlated with APACHE II and Simplified Acute Physiology Score II severity scores. Results - On the first examination 18/21 patients had >20% reduction in the motor and sensory nerve conduction indices. Severity score systems showed significant negative correlation with the daily change of CMAP and SNAP amplitudes and calculated nerve conduction indices (Spearman’s correlation, p<0,001). Mortality was higher in the patients with worse admission ENG and/or stagnant electrophysiological status or declining tendency in the first week. Conclusions - Electrophysiological alterations appeared soon after the development of critical illness. Early phase alterations showed a strong correlation with patients’ general condition and more severe electrophysiological alterations predisposed to higher mortality. In several cases early alterations proved to be reversible. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Intraoperativ electrophysiological monitoring during neurosurgery on eloquent structures]

FEKETE Gábor, NOVÁK László, ERÕSS Loránd, FABÓ Dániel, BOGNÁR László

[Objective - We summarize our experiences on intraoperative electrophysiological monitoring during neurosurgical procedures on eloquent neuronal structures. Patients, methods - Sixty patients were enrolled retrospectively in our study with pathologies involving eloquent neuronal structures. They were operated between May 2011. and March 2012. at the University of Debrecen, Department of Neurosurgery and at the National Institute of Neurosciences. Patients underwent standard preoperative examinations due to the primary pathology. In all cases we used intraoperative electrophysiological monitoring. We had 22 cases with cranial nerve monitoring, 10 cases with cauda monitoring, 16 cases with motor system monitoring, six cases with complex spinal cord monitoring, three degenerative spine reconstructions and 3 awake surgeries. Results - We found that with the use of intraoperative electrophysiology we could make these neurosurgical procedures safer, and were able to optimize the extent of resection in the cases of oncological pathologies. Conclusions - Our experiences as well as the international literature suggests that in certain high risk neurosurgical procedures intraoperative electrophysiology is indispensible for safe and optimally extended operation.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

Retrospective comparison of efficacy of levetiracetam and lacosamide add-on treatments in patients with partial onset seizure

ACAR Türkan, ARAS Guzey Yesim

Objective - The study aims to retrospectively compare the efficacy of lacosamide (LCS) and levetiracetam (LEV) in add-on treatment in patients with partial-onset epilepsy. Material and method - Patients who have been followed-up for at least one year due to diagnosis of partial epilepsy between September 2014 and December 2017 and who had no seizure control, despite using at least two antiepileptic monotherapies, and therefore undergone LEV or LCS add-on treatment were retrospectively reviewed. Of the patients, total number of seizures and seizure control rates 6 months before and 3 and 6 months after the add-on treatment were compared. Results - There was no statistically significant difference between the 30 patients in the LEV group (12 females, 18 males, mean age 29.7±6.6) and 28 patients in the LCS group (12 females, 16 males, mean age 28.2±6.4) in terms of age, gender and the duration of illness. When the LEV and LCS groups were evaluated separately, the mean number of seizures within 3 and 6 months after the add- on treatment were significantly lower than the mean number of seizures in the last 6 months before the add-on treatment (p<0.005 and p<0.005 respectively). There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups when compared with each other in terms of the rate of decrease in number of seizures and seizure control before and after the add-on treatment (p=0.445 and p=0.238, respectively). Conclusion - LCS appears to be as effective as the currently well-established LEV in the treatment of partial onset seizures. No comparative study was found in the literature similar to this subject matter. There is a need for prospective studies for the comparison of the efficacies of these two drugs.

Clinical Neuroscience

[New antiepileptic drugs, and therapeutic considerations]


[Epilepsy is not a singular disease, but a variety of disorders. It is affects up to 0.5% of the population. Over the past decade, the researchers have been made great advances in the field of epilepsy. These have been accompanied by the licensing of a great number of antiepileptic drugs. However, despite these efforts, up to 15-20% of patients have refractory epilepsy. The novel antiepileptic drugs must suit several requirements: higher efficacy, especially in resistant cases, better tolerability, and improved pharmacokinetic properties. Recently, three new drugs have been introduced for the medication. The retigabine is a carbamic derivate, and the anticonvulsive properties are largely due to its ability to prolong the opening of neuronal voltage-gated potassium Kv7.2 and Kv7.3 channels. The lacosamide is a functionalized amino acid, and selectively enhances voltage-gated sodium channel slow inactivation. The eslicarbazepine acetate is a new member of the dibenzazepine family, and blocks the fast inactivated voltage-gated sodium channel. All three of them differ from the foregoing agents in several important ways, including new mechanism of action (retigabine, lacosamide), or pharmacokinetics (eslicarbazepine acetate). These novel anticonvulsants appears to be a safe and effective addition to the armamentarium for the treatment of patients with refractory epilepsy. However, it must take some new approaches into consideration, in the therapeutic algorithm.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[What happens to vertiginous population after emission from the Emergency Department?]

MAIHOUB Stefani, MOLNÁR András, CSIKÓS András, KANIZSAI Péter, TAMÁS László, SZIRMAI Ágnes

[Background – Dizziness is one of the most frequent complaints when a patient is searching for medical care and resolution. This can be a problematic presentation in the emergency department, both from a diagnostic and a management standpoint. Purpose – The aim of our study is to clarify what happens to patients after leaving the emergency department. Methods – 879 patients were examined at the Semmel­weis University Emergency Department with vertigo and dizziness. We sent a questionnaire to these patients and we had 308 completed papers back (110 male, 198 female patients, mean age 61.8 ± 12.31 SD), which we further analyzed. Results – Based on the emergency department diagnosis we had the following results: central vestibular lesion (n = 71), dizziness or giddiness (n = 64) and BPPV (n = 51) were among the most frequent diagnosis. Clarification of the final post-examination diagnosis took several days (28.8%), and weeks (24.2%). It was also noticed that 24.02% of this population never received a proper diagnosis. Among the population only 80 patients (25.8%) got proper diagnosis of their complaints, which was supported by qualitative statistical analysis (Cohen Kappa test) result (κ = 0.560). Discussion – The correlation between our emergency department diagnosis and final diagnosis given to patients is low, a phenomenon that is also observable in other countries. Therefore, patient follow-up is an important issue, including the importance of neurotology and possibly neurological examination. Conclusion – Emergency diagnosis of vertigo is a great challenge, but despite of difficulties the targeted and quick case history and exact examination can evaluate the central or peripheral cause of the balance disorder. Therefore, to prevent declination of the quality of life the importance of further investigation is high.]