Long-term predictors of developmental outcome and disease burden in SCN1A-positive Dravet syndrome

Feng, T., Makiello, P., Dunwoody, B., Steckler, F., Symonds, J. D. , Zuberi, S., Dorris, L. and Brunklaus, A. (2024) Long-term predictors of developmental outcome and disease burden in SCN1A-positive Dravet syndrome. Brain Communications, 6(1), fcae004. (doi: 10.1093/braincomms/fcae004) (PMID:38229878) (PMCID:PMC10789590)

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Dravet syndrome is a severe infantile onset developmental and epileptic encephalopathy associated with mutations in the sodium channel alpha 1 subunit gene SCN1A. Prospective data on long-term developmental and clinical outcomes are limited; this study seeks to evaluate the clinical course of Dravet syndrome over a 10-year period and identify predictors of developmental outcome. SCN1A mutation-positive Dravet syndrome patients were prospectively followed up in the UK from 2010 to 2020. Caregivers completed structured questionnaires on clinical features and disease burden; the Epilepsy & Learning Disability Quality of Life Questionnaire, the Adaptive Behavioural Assessment System-3 and the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children. Sixty-eight of 113 caregivers (60%) returned posted questionnaires. Developmental outcome worsened at follow-up (4.45 [SD 0.65], profound cognitive impairment) compared to baseline (2.9 [SD 1.1], moderate cognitive impairment, P < 0.001), whereas epilepsy severity appeared less severe at 10-year follow-up (P = 0.042). Comorbidities were more apparent at 10-year outcome including an increase in autistic features (77% [48/62] versus 30% [17/57], χ2 = 19.9, P < 0.001), behavioural problems (81% [46/57] versus 38% [23/60], χ2 = 14.1, P < 0.001) and motor/mobility problems (80% [51/64] versus 41% [24/59], χ2 = 16.9, P < 0.001). Subgroup analysis demonstrated a more significant rise in comorbidities in younger compared to older patients. Predictors of worse long-term developmental outcome included poorer baseline language ability (P < 0.001), more severe baseline epilepsy severity (P = 0.003) and a worse SCN1A genetic score (P = 0.027). Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy had not been discussed with a medical professional in 35% (24/68) of participants. Over 90% of caregivers reported a negative impact on their own health and career opportunities. Our study identifies important predictors and potential biomarkers of developmental outcome in Dravet syndrome and emphasizes the significant caregiver burden of illness. The negative impact of epilepsy severity at baseline on long-term developmental outcomes highlights the importance of implementing early and focused therapies whilst the potential impact of newer anti-seizure medications requires further study.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:A.B. and S.M.Z. received a grant from Dravet Syndrome UK for the Glasgow SCN1A database (grant 16GLW00).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Zuberi, Dr Sameer and Symonds, Joseph and Brunklaus, Professor Andreas and Dorris, Professor Liam and Steckler, Dr Felix
Authors: Feng, T., Makiello, P., Dunwoody, B., Steckler, F., Symonds, J. D., Zuberi, S., Dorris, L., and Brunklaus, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Brain Communications
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):2632-1297
Copyright Holders:Copyright: © The Author(s) 2024
First Published:First published in Brain Communications 6(1): fcae004
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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