Early-initiated immunotherapy may improve seizure outcomes in patients with characteristics of autoimmune epilepsy, according to a study in the March 26 online Archives of Neurology.
“Eighty-one percent [of patients] had significant improvement in seizure status, and 67% achieved seizure freedom, a majority of whom were antiepileptic drug [AED] resistant,” reported Amy M. L. Quek, MBBS, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues.
Treating Medically Intractable Epilepsy
Previous studies have suggested that some patients who are unresponsive to AEDs may have autoimmune epilepsy and that immunotherapy may help to control their seizures. To further investigate the potential benefits of immunotherapy in such patients, Dr. Quek’s group searched the Mayo Clinic’s computerized diagnostic index and identified 32 patients who were diagnosed with autoimmune epilepsy after being evaluated in both the Autoimmune Neurology Clinic and Epilepsy Clinic between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2010. Autoimmune etiology was suspected based on neural antibody detection (91%), inflammatory CSF (31%), or MRI suggesting inflammation (63%).