Review of the treatment options for epilepsy in tuberous sclerosis complex: towards precision medicine

  • Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a rare genetic disorder caused by mutations in the TSC1 or TSC2 genes, which encode proteins that antagonise the mammalian isoform of the target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) – a key mediator of cell growth and metabolism. TSC is characterised by the development of benign tumours in multiple organs, together with neurological manifestations including epilepsy and TSC-associated neuropsychiatric disorders (TAND). Epilepsy occurs frequently and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality; however, the management is challenging due to the intractable nature of the seizures. Preventative epilepsy treatment is a key aim, especially as patients with epilepsy may be at a higher risk of developing severe cognitive and behavioural impairment. Vigabatrin given preventatively reduces the risk and severity of epilepsy although the benefits for TAND are inconclusive. These promising results could pave the way for evaluating other treatments in a preventative capacity, especially those that may address the underlying pathophysiology of TSC, including everolimus, cannabidiol and the ketogenic diet (KD). Everolimus is an mTOR inhibitor approved for the adjunctive treatment of refractory TSC-associated seizures that has demonstrated significant reductions in seizure frequency compared with placebo, improvements that were sustained after 2 years of treatment. Highly purified cannabidiol, recently approved in the US as Epidiolex® for TSC-associated seizures in patients ⩾1 years of age, and the KD, may also participate in the regulation of the mTOR pathway. This review focusses on the pivotal clinical evidence surrounding these potential targeted therapies that may form the foundation of precision medicine for TSC-associated epilepsy, as well as other current treatments including anti-seizure drugs, vagus nerve stimulation and surgery. New future therapies are also discussed, together with the potential for preventative treatment with targeted therapies. Due to advances in understanding the molecular genetics and pathophysiology, TSC represents a prototypic clinical syndrome for studying epileptogenesis and the impact of precision medicine.
Author:Susanne Schubert-BastORCiDGND, Adam StrzelczykORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Therapeutic advances in neurological disorders
Place of publication:London [u.a.]
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/07/17
Date of first Publication:2021/07/17
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2022/03/01
Tag:Cannabidiol; TSC-associated neuropsychiatric disorders; epilepsy; epileptogenesis; everolimus; ketogenic diet; mTORC1; tuberous sclerosis complex
Page Number:22
First Page:1
Last Page:22
AS reports personal fees and grants from Arvelle Therapeutics, Desitin Arzneimittel, Eisai, GW Pharmaceuticals, LivaNova, Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Medtronic, UCB Pharma and Zogenix. The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Medical writing assistance was funded by GW Pharma (Germany) GmbH.
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (English):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell 4.0