Anthony G Marson

University of Liverpool, Liverpool, England, United Kingdom

Are you Anthony G Marson?

Claim your profile

Publications (88)585.4 Total impact

  • Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 06/2015; · 5.70 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: The epilepsies are a clinically heterogeneous group of neurological disorders. Despite strong evidence for heritability, genome-wide association studies have had little success in identification of risk loci associated with epilepsy, probably because of relatively small sample sizes and insufficient power. We aimed to identify risk loci through meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies for all epilepsy and the two largest clinical subtypes (genetic generalised epilepsy and focal epilepsy). Methods: We combined genome-wide association data from 12 cohorts of individuals with epilepsy and controls from population-based datasets. Controls were ethnically matched with cases. We phenotyped individuals with epilepsy into categories of genetic generalised epilepsy, focal epilepsy, or unclassified epilepsy. After standardised filtering for quality control and imputation to account for different genotyping platforms across sites, investigators at each site conducted a linear mixed-model association analysis for each dataset. Combining summary statistics, we conducted fixed-effects meta-analyses of all epilepsy, focal epilepsy, and genetic generalised epilepsy. We set the genome-wide significance threshold at p<1·66 × 10–8. Findings: We included 8696 cases and 26 157 controls in our analysis. Meta-analysis of the all-epilepsy cohort identified loci at 2q24.3 (p=8·71 × 10–10), implicating SCN1A, and at 4p15.1 (p=5·44 × 10–9), harbouring PCDH7, which encodes a protocadherin molecule not previously implicated in epilepsy. For the cohort of genetic generalised epilepsy, we noted a single signal at 2p16.1 (p=9·99 × 10–9), implicating VRK2 or FANCL. No single nucleotide polymorphism achieved genome-wide significance for focal epilepsy. Interpretation: This meta-analysis describes a new locus not previously implicated in epilepsy and provides further evidence about the genetic architecture of these disorders, with the ultimate aim of assisting in disease classification and prognosis. The data suggest that specific loci can act pleiotropically raising risk for epilepsy broadly, or can have effects limited to a specific epilepsy subtype. Future genetic analyses might benefit from both lumping (ie, grouping of epilepsy types together) or splitting (ie, analysis of specific clinical subtypes).
    The Lancet Neurology 07/2014; · 23.92 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Epilepsy is a disease with substantial missing heritability; despite its high genetic component, genetic association studies have had limited success detecting common variants which influence susceptibility. In this paper, we reassess the role of common variants on epilepsy using extensions of heritability analysis. Our data set consists of 1258 UK patients with epilepsy, of which 958 have focal epilepsy, and 5129 population control subjects, with genotypes recorded for over 4 million common single nucleotide polymorphisms. Firstly, we show that on the liability scale, common variants collectively explain at least 26% (standard deviation 5%) of phenotypic variation for all epilepsy and 27% (standard deviation 5%) for focal epilepsy. Secondly we provide a new method for estimating the number of causal variants for complex traits; when applied to epilepsy, our most optimistic estimate suggests that at least 400 variants influence disease susceptibility, with potentially many thousands. Thirdly, we use bivariate analysis to assess how similar the genetic architecture of focal epilepsy is to that of non-focal epilepsy; we demonstrate both significant differences (P = 0.004) and significant similarities (P = 0.01) between the two subtypes, indicating that although the clinical definition of focal epilepsy does identify a genetically distinct epilepsy subtype, there is also scope to improve the classification of epilepsy by incorporating genotypic information. Lastly, we investigate the potential value in using genetic data to diagnose epilepsy following a single epileptic seizure; we find that a prediction model explaining 10% of phenotypic variation could have clinical utility for deciding which single-seizure individuals are likely to benefit from immediate anti-epileptic drug therapy.
    Brain : a journal of neurology. 07/2014;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We assessed the likelihood of 12-month seizure remission and treatment failure after failure of a first antiepileptic drug, and identified factors influencing these outcomes.METHODS: SANAD (Standard and New Antiepileptic Drug) was a randomized controlled trial comparing monotherapy with standard and new antiepileptic drugs. Patients were followed up to study completion, even if they were switched from their randomized treatment. After a first treatment failure, we assessed the probability of 12-month seizure remission and treatment failure. Prognostic modeling identified predictors of these outcomes.RESULTS: Forty-four percent of patients in the SANAD trial had a first treatment failure. Seventy-five percent of these subsequently achieved 12-month remission by 6 years of follow-up. Significant prognostic factors included sex, age at treatment failure, time on randomized treatment at treatment failure, neurologic insult, total number of tonic-clonic seizures at treatment failure, reason for treatment failure, seizure type, and CT/MRI scan result. After a first treatment failure, young patients without tonic-clonic seizures, with a normal CT/MRI scan and failing their treatment because of unacceptable adverse events, had the highest likelihood of 12-month remission. Approximately 50% of patients who failed a first treatment also failed their second. Significant prognostic factors included total number of tonic-clonic seizures at first treatment failure, reason for first treatment failure, and CT/MRI scan result. Patients with tonic-clonic seizures and failing because of inadequate seizure control had the highest risk of a second treatment failure.CONCLUSIONS: A high proportion of patients will achieve 12-month remission after a first treatment failure. Clinical factors can stratify patients according to likely outcome.
    Neurology 07/2014; · 8.25 Impact Factor
  • Anand Iyer, Anthony Marson
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Epilepsy is the most common neurological condition worldwide with significant psychosocial and physical morbidity. Its management requires expertise and good pharmacological knowledge of the available options. Areas covered: This review covers the management of focal epilepsy addressing the common questions arising through the patients' journey, including timing of starting initial treatment, monotherapy options, add-on treatment for refractory cases and withdrawal of medication during remission. Expert opinion: Initiating anti-epileptic drug (AED) treatment requires assessment of patient preferences and of evidence of benefit and harm. Evidence of benefit will come primarily from randomised controlled trials, although in epilepsy, most trials are undertaken to inform regulatory decision and have important limitations for informing clinical decisions. Evidence about harm may come not only from randomised trials but also from other sources. Most patients will start treatment following a second focal seizure. Carbamazepine and lamotrigine are good initial monotherapy options. Newer AEDs have proof of efficacy as monotherapy but evidence is insufficient to recommend them as first-line treatments. For refractory cases, there are an increasing number of AEDs available, but evidence of efficacy is primarily from placebo-controlled trials, and there is no robust evidence to inform a choice among treatments.
    Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy 05/2014; · 2.86 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The pattern of executive dysfunction reported in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) resembles that of patients with cluster B personality disorders. This study examined whether executive dysfunction and maladaptive behavior reported in patients with JME are related. Sixty patients with drug-refractory JME were administered tests of intellect, memory, and executive dysfunction. Anxiety, depression, personality traits, impact of epilepsy, and perceived cognitive effects of antiepileptic drugs were measured. Half of the cohort exhibited moderate to severe anxiety symptoms. The patients performed most poorly on naming ability and inhibition switching. Duration of epilepsy exacerbated poor performance on inhibition switching. Females presented with pathological scores for neurotic and introvert traits and males for introvert traits. Abnormal personality traits and psychiatric disorders were associated with worse intellectual and executive functioning. People with extreme Eysenck Personality Scale - Brief Version (EPQ-BV) scores demonstrated the greatest level of executive impairment. Furthermore, the same degree of dysfunction was not seen in any individual with unremarkable EPQ-BV scores. This study indicates that specific patterns of executive dysfunction are related to maladaptive behavior in JME. Distinct behavioral patterns may be used to identify functional and anatomical differences between people with JME and for stratification to enable gene discovery.
    Epilepsy & Behavior 05/2014; 35C:72-77. · 1.84 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Jennifer Pulman, Karla Hemming, Anthony G Marson
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Epilepsy is a common chronic neurological disease with an estimated prevalence of 1% in the UK. Approximately one third of these people continue to have seizures despite drug treatment. In order to try to improve outcomes a number of new antiepileptic drugs have been developed and pregabalin is one of these. This review is an update of a previous Cochrane review (Pulman 2008); no further studies have been added since the previous update in 2012 and only one study has been identified as an ongoing trial. To summarise evidence from randomised controlled trials regarding the efficacy and tolerability of pregabalin when used as an add-on antiepileptic treatment in drug-resistant partial epilepsy. The definitions of drug resistance used were those employed by the authors of the included trials. We searched the Cochrane Epilepsy Group Specialized Register (Jan 2014), CENTRAL (the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, The Cochrane Library 2013, Issue 12), MEDLINE (Ovid, 1946 to 09/01/2014) and contacted Pfizer Ltd. (the manufacturers of pregabalin) to identify published, unpublished and ongoing trials. We included randomised controlled trials comparing pregabalin with placebo or an alternative antiepileptic drug for people with drug-resistant partial epilepsy. Outcomes included 50% or greater reduction in seizure frequency, seizure freedom, treatment withdrawal for any reason, treatment withdrawal for adverse events and nature of adverse events. Two review authors (JP and AGM) independently selected and assessed suitable trials and extracted data. Primary analyses were by intention-to-treat (ITT). Results are presented as risk ratios (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Included studies were assessed for risk of bias by two authors using the Cochrane 'Risk of bias' tool. Six suitable industry-sponsored trials (2009 participants) were identified and included in the analysis. Trials tested doses of pregabalin ranging from 50 mg/day to 600 mg/day. For the primary outcome, 50% or higher seizure reduction was significantly more likely in patients randomised to pregabalin than to placebo (RR 2.61; 95% CI 1.70 to 4.01). A dose-response analysis suggested increasing effect with increasing dose. Pregabalin was significantly associated with seizure freedom (RR 2.59; 95% CI 1.05 to 6.36). Patients were significantly more likely to have withdrawn from pregabalin treatment than placebo treatment for any reason (RR 1.39; 95% CI 1.13 to 1.72) or for adverse effects (RR 2.69; 95% CI 1.88 to 3.86). Ataxia, dizziness, somnolence and weight gain were significantly associated with pregabalin. The odds of response doubled with an increase in dose from 300 mg/day to 600 mg/day (OR 2.12; 95% CI 1.76 to 2.54). Overall, the evidence was rated as low/unclear risk of bias due to the possibility of publication bias. The quality of the evidence was rated as moderate using the GRADE approach. Pregabalin, when used as an add-on drug for treatment-resistant partial epilepsy, is significantly more effective than placebo at achieving a 50% or greater seizure reduction and significantly increasing seizure freedom. Results demonstrate efficacy for doses from 150 mg/day to 600 mg/day, with increasing effectiveness at 600 mg doses. The trials included in this review were of short duration and longer-term trials are needed to inform clinical decision making better.
    Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 03/2014; 3:CD005612. · 5.70 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Epilepsy is a common neurological condition characterised by recurrent seizures. Sulthiame (STM) is widely used as an antiepileptic drug in Europe and Israel. In this review, we present a summary of evidence for the use of STM as monotherapy in epilepsy. To examine the efficacy and side effect profile of STM as monotherapy when compared with placebo or another antiepileptic drug. We searched the Cochrane Epilepsy Group Specialised Register (24 October 2013), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (2013, Issue 9), MEDLINE Ovid (1946 to 24 October 2013), SCOPUS (1823 to 24 October 2013), the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) search portal (28 October 2013) and ClinicalTrials.gov (28 October 2013). We imposed no language restrictions. We contacted the manufacturers of STM and researchers in the field to ask about ongoing and unpublished studies. Randomised controlled monotherapy trials of STM in people of any age with epilepsy of any aetiology. Two review authors independently selected trials for inclusion and extracted the relevant data.The following outcomes were assessed: (1) time to treatment failure; (2) time to 12-month remission; (3) proportion seizure free at 12 months; (4) adverse effects; and (5) quality of life scoring. Primary analyses were intention-to-treat when possible. A narrative analysis of the data was presented. Two studies representing 100 participants with a diagnosis of benign epilepsy of childhood with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS) and one study representing 146 participants with a diagnosis of generalised tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) were included. STM was given as monotherapy compared with placebo in the BECTS studies and compared with phenytoin in the GTCS study. An English translation of the full text of one of the BECTS studies could not be found, and analysis of this study was based solely on the English translation of the abstract. No data were reported for outcome (1), (2), (3) or (5). Reporting of adverse effects was incomplete. Participants receiving STM were significantly less likely to develop gingival hyperplasia than were participants receiving phenytoin in the GTCS study (risk ratio (RR) 0.03, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.00 to 0.58). No further statistically significant adverse events were noted when STM was compared with phenytoin or placebo. Two ongoing studies comparing STM monotherapy versus placebo or levetiracetam in BECTS were identified. Small sample size, poor methodological quality and lack of data on important outcome measures prevent any meaningful conclusions regarding the efficacy and safety of sulthiame as monotherapy in epilepsy.
    Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 03/2014; 3:CD010062. · 5.70 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The majority of people with epilepsy have a good prognosis and their seizures are controlled by a single antiepileptic drug. However, up to 20% of patients from population-based studies and up to 30% from clinical series (not population-based) develop drug-resistant epilepsy, especially those with partial onset seizures. In this review we summarise the current evidence regarding topiramate, an antiepileptic drug first marketed in 1996, when used as an add-on treatment for drug-resistant partial epilepsy. This is an updated version of the original Cochrane review published in Issue 3, 1999. To evaluate the efficacy and safety of topiramate when used as an add-on treatment for people with drug-resistant partial epilepsy. We searched the Cochrane Epilepsy Group Specialised Register (June 2013); the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2013, Issue 5); MEDLINE (1946 to 2013); SCOPUS (1823 to 2013); ClinicalTrials.gov and ICTRP. We imposed no language restrictions. We also contacted the manufacturers of topiramate and researchers in the field to identify any ongoing or unpublished studies. Randomised, placebo-controlled or active drug controlled add-on trials of topiramate, recruiting people with drug-resistant partial epilepsy. Two review authors independently selected trials for inclusion and extracted the relevant data. We assessed the following outcomes: (a) 50% or greater reduction in seizure frequency; (b) seizure freedom; (c) treatment withdrawal (any reason); (d) side effects. Primary analyses were intention-to-treat and summary risk ratios (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) are presented. We evaluated dose response in regression models. We carried out a 'Risk of bias' assessment for each included study using the Cochrane 'Risk of bias' tool and assessed the overall quality of evidence using the GRADE approach, which we presented in a 'Summary of findings' table. Eleven trials were included, representing 1401 randomised participants. Baseline phases ranged from 4 to 12 weeks and double-blind phases from 11 to 19 weeks. The RR for a 50% or greater reduction in seizure frequency compared to placebo was 2.97 (95% CI 2.38 to 3.72). Dose regression analysis shows increasing effect with increasing dose, but found no advantage for doses over 300 or 400 mg per day. The RR for seizure freedom (95% CI) compared to placebo was 3.41 (95% CI 1.37 to 8.51). The RR for treatment withdrawal compared to placebo was 2.44 (95% CI 1.64 to 3.62). The RRs for the following side effects indicate that they are significantly associated with topiramate: ataxia 2.29 (99% CI 1.10 to 4.77); concentration difficulties 7.81 (2.08 to 29.29); dizziness 1.54 (99% CI 1.07 to 2.22); fatigue 2.19 (99% CI 1.42 to 3.40); paraesthesia 3.91 (1.51 to 10.12); somnolence 2.29 (99% CI 1.49 to 3.51); 'thinking abnormally' 5.70 (99% CI 2.26 to 14.38) and weight loss 3.47 (1.55 to 7.79). Evidence of publication bias was found (P-value from the Egger test was P=0.003). We rated all studies included in the review as having either low or unclear risk of bias. Overall, we assessed the evidence as moderate quality due to the evidence of publication bias. Topiramate has efficacy as an add-on treatment for drug-resistant partial epilepsy in that it is three times more effective compared to a placebo in reducing seizures. However, the trials reviewed were of relatively short duration and provide no evidence for the long-term efficacy of topiramate. In the short term topiramate as an add-on has been shown to be associated with several adverse events. The results of this review cannot be extrapolated to monotherapy or treatment of other epilepsy types and future research should consider examining the effect of dose.
    Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 02/2014; 2:CD001417. · 5.70 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Jayne Martlew, Jennifer Pulman, Anthony G Marson
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures, also known as non-epileptic attack disorder (NEAD), have the outward appearance of epilepsy in the absence of physiological or electroencephalographic correlates. Non-epileptic seizures can occur in isolation or in combination with epileptic seizures. The development and maintenance of non-epileptic seizures has been well documented and there is a growing literature on the treatment of non-epileptic seizures which includes non-psychological (including anti-anxiety and antidepressant pharmacological treatment) and psychological therapies (including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), hypnotherapy and paradoxical therapy). Various treatment methodologies have been tried with variable success. The purpose of this Cochrane review was to establish the evidence base for the treatment of non-epileptic seizures with behavioural and psychological therapies only. To assess whether behavioural or psychological treatments for non-epileptic seizures or NEAD result in a reduction in the frequency of seizures or improvement in quality of life, or both, and whether any treatment is significantly more effective than others. We searched the Cochrane Epilepsy Group's Specialised Register (4 February 2013), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2013, Issue 1) (January 2013), MEDLINE (1946 to 4 February 2013), PsycINFO (4 February 2013) and SCOPUS (4 February 2013). No language restrictions were imposed. We checked the reference lists of retrieved studies for additional reports of relevant studies SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and before and after controlled and non-controlled studies were eligible for inclusion. Studies were required to assess one or more types of behavioural or psychological interventions, or both, for the treatment of non-epileptic seizures. Studies of childhood non-epileptic seizures were excluded from our review. Two review authors (JM, JP) independently assessed the trials for inclusion and extracted data. Outcomes included reduction in seizure frequency and improvements in quality of life. Twelve studies, with a total of 343 participants, met our inclusion criteria (four RCTs and eight before and after non-controlled studies). Of the four RCTs, one examined patients with non-epileptic seizures and three had a mixed diagnosis (pseudoseizures, conversion disorder and somatisation disorder). Most of the non-randomised studies used non-epileptic seizure patients exclusively. Overall, five studies examined the effectiveness of psychotherapy, three examined CBT, two investigated hypnosis, one assessed paradoxical intention and one had a mixed intervention design. We classified two included studies as low risk of bias, one as unclear and nine as high risk of bias. Meta-analysis could not be undertaken due to the heterogeneity of design and interventions. Most included studies reported improved outcomes for the intervention under investigation. One RCT investigating the effectiveness of CBT in this patient group found a significant reduction in seizure frequency compared to controls (P < 0.001). There is little reliable evidence to support the use of any treatment, including CBT, in the treatment of non-epileptic seizures. Further randomised controlled trials of CBT and other interventions are needed.
    Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 02/2014; 2:CD006370. · 5.70 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Jennifer Pulman, Anthony G Marson, Jane L Hutton
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Epilepsy is a common neurological condition, affecting almost 0.5 to 1% of the population. Nearly 30% of people with epilepsy are resistant to currently available drugs. Tiagabine is one of the newer antiepileptic drugs and its effects as an adjunct (add-on) to standard drugs are assessed in this review. To evaluate the effects of add-on treatment with tiagabine upon seizures, adverse effects, cognition and quality of life for people with drug-resistant localisation related seizures. This is an updated version of the original Cochrane review published in issue 10, 2010. We searched the Cochrane Epilepsy Group's Specialised Register (December 2011), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, issue 4, 2011 of The Cochrane Library), and MEDLINE (1948 to November 2011). No language restrictions were imposed. We also contacted the manufacturers of tiagabine and experts in the field to seek any ongoing or unpublished studies. Randomised placebo controlled add-on trials of people of any age with localisation related seizures, in which an adequate method of concealment of randomisation was used were included. The studies could be double, single or unblinded and be of parallel or crossover design. They had to have a minimum treatment period of eight weeks. Trials using an active drug control group were also included. Two review authors independently selected trials for inclusion and extracted data. Any disagreements were resolved by discussion. Outcomes investigated included 50% or greater reduction in seizure frequency; treatment withdrawal; adverse effects; effects on cognition and quality of life. The primary analyses were by intention-to-treat. Worst case and best case analyses were also calculated for seizure outcomes. Dose response was evaluated in regression models. Four parallel group and two crossover group trials were included. The overall relative risk (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for a 50% or greater reduction in seizure frequency (tiagabine versus placebo) was 3.16 (95% CI 1.97 to 5.07). Due to differences in response rates among trials, regression models were unable to provide reliable estimates of responses to individual doses. The RR for treatment withdrawal was 1.81 (95% CI 1.25 to 2.62). The 99% CIs for the following adverse effects: dizziness; fatigue; nervousness and tremor did not include unity, indicating that they are significantly associated with tiagabine. For cognitive and quality of life outcomes the limited data available suggested that there were no significant effects on cognition and mood and adjustment. Tiagabine reduces seizure frequency but is associated with some adverse effects when used as an add-on for people with drug-resistant localisation-related seizures.
    Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 02/2014; 2:CD001908. · 5.70 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The costs, benefits and risks associated with diagnostic imaging investigations for epilepsy surgery necessitate the identification of an optimal pathway in the pre-surgical workup. In order to assess the added value of additional investigations a full cost-effectiveness evaluation should be conducted, taking into account all of the life-time costs and benefits associated with undertaking additional investigations. This paper considers and applies the appropriate framework against which a full evaluation should be assessed. We conducted a systematic review to evaluate the progression of the literature through this framework, finding that only isolated elements of added value have been appropriately evaluated. The results from applying the full added value framework are also presented, identifying an optimal strategy for pre-surgical evaluation for temporal lobe epilepsy surgery. Our results suggest that additional FDG-PET and invasive EEG investigations after an initially discordant MRI and video-EEG appears cost-effective, and that the value of subsequent invasive-EEGs is closely linked to the maintenance of longer-term benefits after surgery. It is integral to the evaluation of imaging technologies in the work-up for epilepsy surgery that the impact of the use of these technologies on clinical decision-making, and on further treatment decisions, is considered fully when informing cost-effectiveness.
    Epilepsy research 01/2014; · 2.48 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previous research identifies loss as a key concept for our understanding of the impact of chronic illness. In this in-depth qualitative study, we explored the utility of the concept of loss and loss replacement as a means of gaining a fuller understanding of the implications of a diagnosis of epilepsy for overall quality of life (QOL). Potential participants were identified from the database of a large UK-based randomized controlled trial of antiepileptic drug treatment for new-onset epilepsy and selected using purposive sampling methods. In-depth interviews were conducted with 67 people; interview material was analyzed thematically. Our findings confirm ‘loss’ as a key concept in understanding epilepsy impact. Participants cited profound physical and social losses, and the links between these and psychological loss were clearly articulated. Informants described two main processes via which the linked losses they experienced occurred: personal withdrawal processes and externally enforced processes. Seizure control was integral to restoring psychological well-being and a sense of normality but was only one of a number of influences moderating the degree of loss experienced following seizure onset. Our work emphasizes that people with epilepsy (PWE) require active support for their continued engagement or reengagement in roles and activities identified as central to their psychological well-being and overall QOL. Achieving this requires a multiagency approach to drive forward key strategies for reduction of the negative impacts of epilepsy and to engender a sense of normality in the context of a condition often experienced as placing the individual outside the socially determined parameters of the ‘normal’.
    Epilepsy & Behavior 01/2014; 33:59–68. · 1.84 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the United Kingdom and other European Union countries guidelines for driving following a first unprovoked seizure require the risk of another seizure in the next year to be less than 20%. Using data from one clinical trial, we previously developed a prognostic model to inform driving guidelines. The objective of this work is to externally validate our published model and demonstrate its generalisability.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(6):e99063. · 3.73 Impact Factor
  • Tom B. Mole, Richard Appleton, Anthony Marson
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose Although sodium valproate (VPA) remains the most effective antiepileptic for generalised and unclassified epilepsies, clinicians may be failing to discuss this treatment option because of guideline misinterpretation. Current guidelines recommend caution regarding teratogenic risks but do not advocate absolute avoidance. Methods We assessed VPA prescribing in young people attending a transition epilepsy clinic. We present six patients with idiopathic generalised epilepsy (IGE) in whom VPA had been initially avoided. Results Overall, the results were consistent with VPA's superior antiepileptic efficacy and ability to reduce harmful seizure-related complications. Young people denied of VPA showed prolonged periods of poor seizure control with medical, social and psychological complications. Following contraceptive counselling and VPA introduction, all six patients showed improved seizure control including seizure-freedom during follow-up of up to twenty-four months. There was also evidence of reduced seizure-related morbidity and improved educational and occupational functioning. Prior to referral, documentation revealed no discussion of VPA treatment options. Conclusion Failure to prescribe valproate for IGE, particularly when another first-line treatment has failed, may not be in a young woman's best interests particularly when they are most vulnerable to sequelae from uncontrolled seizures. Indiscriminate avoidance of valproate needs to be recognised as a misinterpretation of current epilepsy guidelines as it may harm young people. Although the use of valproate demands careful consideration, there remains a strong case to always discuss this medication because of its efficacy and potential to reduce seizure-related harm. Patients must be allowed to make their own informed decisions about effective epilepsy treatments.
    Seizure 01/2014; · 2.00 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose The pattern of executive dysfunction reported in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) resembles that of patients with cluster B personality disorders. This study examined whether executive dysfunction and maladaptive behavior reported in patients with JME are related. Method Sixty patients with drug-refractory JME were administered tests of intellect, memory, and executive dysfunction. Anxiety, depression, personality traits, impact of epilepsy, and perceived cognitive effects of antiepileptic drugs were measured. Results Half of the cohort exhibited moderate to severe anxiety symptoms. The patients performed most poorly on naming ability and inhibition switching. Duration of epilepsy exacerbated poor performance on inhibition switching. Females presented with pathological scores for neurotic and introvert traits and males for introvert traits. Abnormal personality traits and psychiatric disorders were associated with worse intellectual and executive functioning. People with extreme Eysenck Personality Scale — Brief Version (EPQ-BV) scores demonstrated the greatest level of executive impairment. Furthermore, the same degree of dysfunction was not seen in any individual with unremarkable EPQ-BV scores. Conclusion This study indicates that specific patterns of executive dysfunction are related to maladaptive behavior in JME. Distinct behavioral patterns may be used to identify functional and anatomical differences between people with JME and for stratification to enable gene discovery.
    Epilepsy & Behavior 01/2014; 35:72–77. · 1.84 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The study of juvenile myoclonic epilepsy is important in that: it is common and heterogeneous; the etiology is unknown; and patients report broad cognitive problems. We utilized a broad battery of neuropsychometric tests to assess the following: intellectual function, memory, language and naming, executive function, the impact of epilepsy, and antiepilepsy drug side effects. Sixty people with drug-refractory JME were interviewed, and performance was profoundly impaired across the range of tests. Impairments included the following: full-scale IQ (89, p < 0.001); processing speed (86, p < 0.001); visual memory (immediate and delayed) more affected than verbal memory; verbal fluency and inhibition (p < 0.001); and self-reported drug side effects (p < 0.001). Eighty-three percent of patients exhibited frank executive dysfunction, which was moderate to severe in 66%. Regression modeling confirmed that an early age at onset and the need for polytherapy were associated with poorer cognitive outcomes. This study confirms previous reports of executive dysfunction in a larger cohort and with greater statistical rigor. We also identified a high prevalence of neurotoxicity symptoms such as fatigue and poorer functioning across intellectual and memory tests than had previously been reported.
    Epilepsy & Behavior 01/2014; 36:124–129. · 1.84 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The majority of people with epilepsy have a good prognosis and their seizures can be well controlled with the use of a single antiepileptic agent, but up to 30% develop refractory epilepsy, especially those with partial seizures. In this review we summarise the current evidence regarding zonisamide, when used as an add-on treatment for drug-resistant partial epilepsy. To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of zonisamide when used as an add-on treatment for people with drug-resistant partial epilepsy. We searched the Cochrane Epilepsy Group Specialized Register (12 February 2013), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library 2013, Issue 1) (January 2013), MEDLINE (Ovid, 1946 to 12 February 2013), SCOPUS (13 February 2013), ClinicalTrials.gov (12 February 2013) and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform ICTRP (13 February 2013). In addition, we contacted Eisai Limited (makers and licensees of zonisamide) and experts in the field to seek any ongoing/unpublished studies. Randomised, placebo-controlled, add-on trials of zonisamide in people with drug-resistant partial epilepsy. Two review authors independently selected trials for inclusion and extracted data. Outcomes were: (1) 50% or greater reduction in total seizure frequency; (2) treatment withdrawal; (3) adverse effects. Primary analyses were intention-to-treat. We estimated summary risk ratios (RRs) for each outcome. All studies were assessed for risk of bias using the Cochrane risk of bias tool and the quality of evidence was assessed using the GRADE approach and presented in a summary of findings table. Five trials (949 participants) were included. The overall RR with 95% confidence interval (CI) for 50% reduction in seizure frequency compared to placebo for 300 to 500 mg/day of zonisamide was 2.00 (95% CI 1.58 to 2.54). The RR for 50% reduction in seizure frequency compared to placebo for any dose of zonisamide (100 to 500 mg per day) was 1.92 (95% CI 1.52 to 2.42). The number needed to treat (NNT) was 6 for this outcome. Two trials provide evidence of a dose response relationship for this outcome. The RR for treatment withdrawal for 300 to 500 mg/day of zonisamide compared to placebo was 1.64 (95% CI 1.20 to 2.25) and for 100 to 500 mg per day was 1.47 (95% CI 1.07 to 2.01). NNT for this outcome was 21. The CIs of the following adverse effects indicate that they are significantly associated with zonisamide: ataxia 3.77 (99% CI 1.28 to 11.11); somnolence 1.83 (99% CI 1.08 to 3.11); agitation 2.35 (99% CI 1.05 to 5.27) and anorexia 2.71 (99% CI 1.29 to 5.69). Across the 5 studies, risk of bias domains were rated as low is bias or unclear. None of the evidence for outcomes was downgraded for quality. Zonisamide has efficacy as an add-on treatment in people with drug-resistant partial epilepsy. In this review minimum effective and maximum tolerated doses cannot be identified. The trials reviewed were of a maximum stable-dose phase of 18 weeks in duration and results cannot be used to confirm longer periods of effectiveness in seizure control. The results cannot be extrapolated to monotherapy or to people with other seizure types or epilepsy syndromes.
    Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 12/2013; 12:CD001416. · 5.70 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To develop prognostic models for time to 12-month remission and time to treatment failure after initiating antiepileptic drug monotherapy for generalised and unclassified epilepsy. We analysed data from the Standard and New Antiepileptic Drug (arm B) study, a randomised trial that compared initiating treatment with lamotrigine, topiramate and valproate in patients diagnosed with generalised or unclassified epilepsy. Multivariable regression modelling was used to investigate how clinical factors affect the probability of achieving 12-month remission and treatment failure. Significant factors in the multivariable model for time to 12-month remission were having a relative with epilepsy, neurological insult, total number of tonic-clonic seizures before randomisation, seizure type and treatment. Significant factors in the multivariable model for time to treatment failure were treatment history (antiepileptic drug treatment prior to randomisation), EEG result, seizure type and treatment. The models described within this paper can be used to identify patients most likely to achieve 12-month remission and most likely to have treatment failure, aiding individual patient risk stratification and the design and analysis of future epilepsy trials.
    Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 11/2013; · 4.87 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract The adverse effects profile of levetiracetam in epilepsy is still being fully described. We recently published a Cochrane Review evaluating the effectiveness of levetiracetam, added on to usual care, in treating drug-resistant focal epilepsy. The five most common adverse effects were reported and analysed with no scope for reporting any less common adverse effects than those. Here we report and analyse the remaining adverse effects (including the five most common). These were (in decreasing order of frequency) somnolence; headache; asthenia; accidental injury; dizziness; infection; pharyngitis; pain; rhinitis; abdominal pain; flu syndrome; vomiting; diarrhoea; convulsion; nausea; increased cough; anorexia; upper respiratory tract infection; hostility; personality disorder; urinary tract infection; nervousness; depression; aggression; back pain; agitation; emotional lability; psychomotor hyperactivity; pyrexia; rash; ECG abnormalities; decreased appetite; nasal congestion; irritability; abnormal behaviour; epistaxis; insomnia; altered mood; anxiety; bloody urine; diplopia; dissociation; memory impairment; pruritis; increased appetite; acne; and stomach discomfort. Only somnolence and infection were significantly associated with levetiracetam. When adverse effects pertaining to infection were combined, these affected 19.7% and 15.1% of participants on levetiracetam and placebo (relative risk 1.16, CI 0.89 -1.50, Chi(2) heterogeneity p = 0.13). Somnolence and infection further retained significance in adults while no single adverse effect was significant in children. This review updates the adverse effects profile data on levetiracetam use by empirically reporting its common and uncommon adverse effects and analysing their relative importance statistically using data from a group of trials that posses low Risk of Bias and high Quality of Evidence GRADE scores.
    The International journal of neuroscience 11/2013; · 0.86 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
585.40 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2002–2014
    • University of Liverpool
      • • Department of Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology
      • • Department of Biostatistics
      • • School of Biological Sciences
      • • Department of Mathematical Sciences
      Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
  • 2013
    • UCL Eastman Dental Institute
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2012
    • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
      • Department of Medical Statistics
      London, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2010–2011
    • The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
      Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, United Kingdom
  • 2009–2010
    • Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
      Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
  • 2008
    • The University of Warwick
      • Department of Statistics
      Warwick, ENG, United Kingdom
    • The University of Calgary
      • Department of Clinical Neurosciences
      Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 2006–2008
    • Imperial College London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
    • University of Cambridge
      • MRC Biostatistics Unit
      Cambridge, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2007
    • The University of Hong Kong
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 2005
    • Northern Institute For Cancer Research
      Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, United Kingdom
  • 1998
    • The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust
      Liverpool, England, United Kingdom