Next-generation sequencing (NGS) can improve treatment efficacy and reduce hospitalization in children with drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE), according to a study published CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics.
Jing Peng, Ph.D., from Central South University in China, and colleagues conducted genetic testing on 273 pediatric DRE patients with no obvious acquired etiology; 74 underwent whole-exome sequencing (WES), 141 had epilepsy-related gene panel testing, and 58 had clinical WES gene panel testing. Frequency of seizures, outpatient visits, and hospitalization was also assessed.
The researchers found that a genetic diagnosis was made in 86 patients (31.5 percent; 93 likely disease-causing mutations in 33 genes). By testing type, detection rates were 32.6% for the epilepsy-related gene panel, 44.8% for the clinical WES gene panel, and 17.3% for WES. Also, 34 patients accepted therapy based on their mutant genes, after which 52.9% became seizure-free and 38.2% experienced seizure reduction. Hospitalization incidents were significantly lower for patients after testing than before regardless of positive or negative genetic results.