• Epileptic and developmental encephalopathies: clinical and genetic study of adult patients attending a tertiary Epilepsy Centre
  • Stipa, Carlotta <1983>


  • MED/26 Neurologia


  • Objectives: To fully re-evaluate patients with early-onset epilepsy and intellectual disability with neurological, neurophysiological and neuropsychological examination in order to contribute to expanding the phenotypic spectrum of known epileptic encephalopathy (EE)-related genes and to identify novel genetic defects underlying EEs. Methods: We recruited patients with epilepsy and intellectual disability (ID) referring to our Epilepsy Centre. Patients underwent full clinical and neurophysiologic evaluation. When possible they underwent neuroradiologic investigations. Selected cases also underwent genetic analysis. Results: We recruited 200 patients (109 M, 91 F; mean age 36 years old). Mean age at epilepsy onset was 4 years old. The degree of ID was borderline in 4.5% of patients, mild in 25%, moderate in 38% and severe in 32.5%. EEG showed epileptiform abnormalities in 79.5% of patients. One hundred and thirty-one patients out of the 200 recruited (65.5%) did not have an aetiological diagnosis. All the patients underwent full clinical reassessment and when necessary they performed neuroradiologic and genetic investigations as well. We identified 35 patients with a genetic aetiology. In 8 cases a structural brain lesion was observed. In 33 patients, a genetic aetiology was identified. In 2 patients with drug-resistant seizures video-EEG allowed the identification of non-epileptic seizures, and in one patient we discontinued anti-epileptic drugs. In these patients, the aetiological diagnosis was made after 30 years (range 9-60 years) from the disease onset. Conclusions: In a population of 200 adult patients with epilepsy and ID, an aetiological cause was identified in 45 patients after 30 years from the disease onset. Aetiological diagnosis, especially if genetic, has significant positive implications for patients, even if it has been made after years from the beginning of the disease. Benefits include better-focused antiepileptic drug (AED) choice, sparing of further unnecessary investigations and improved knowledge of comorbidities.


  • 2019-11-29


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Stipa, Carlotta (2019) Epileptic and developmental encephalopathies: clinical and genetic study of adult patients attending a tertiary Epilepsy Centre, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze biomediche e neuromotorie , 32 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/9133.