Scientific publications

Ascertaining the epidemiology, patient flow and disease management for Dravet syndrome in Spain

Jan 16, 2019 | Magazine: Revista de Neurología

Gil-Nagel A (1), Sanchez-Carpintero R (2), San Antonio V (3), Mistry A (4), Barker G (4), Shepherd J (5), Gil A (5).

Introduction: Dravet syndrome (DS) is a rare, drug resistant epilepsy that starts very early in life with febrile seizures followed by cognitive impairment and diverse seizure types.

Aim: To generate evidence on the epidemiology of DS, its diagnosis, patient-flow, treatment and unmet needs from the perspective of Spanish experts.

Development: A two-round Delphi study involving 19 physicians was conducted. Questionnaires were based on literature review and validated by clinical experts. Consensus was reached when topics were subject to routine clinical practice and individual experience, or the coefficient of variation among answers was <= 0.3. The estimated number of new DS patients is 73 per year. Prevalence is estimated to be between 348-540 patients. DS is mostly diagnosed in children. Survival varies from 5 to 60 years. There is no standardised follow-up of patients beyond the age of 18 and mortality rates are uncertain. No standard guidelines exist for diagnosing or treating DS. It takes 9 to 15 months to confirm the diagnosis and genetic testing is unevenly available. Valproic acid, clobazam, stiripentol and topiramate are commonly used. Poor efficacy and safety are the main reasons for treatment switch.

Conclusions: The epidemiology of DS in Spain is not well known and several areas of unmet needs still exist. Experts' views offer a starting point for further research into the reality of DS in Spain. Epidemiological studies, consensus criteria, easy access to genetic testing, treatment options, training and research into quality of life aspects are highly needed.

CITATION  Rev Neurol. 2019 Jan 16;68(2):75-81

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