Journal Article
Systematic Review
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Diagnosis and treatment of late-onset myoclonic epilepsy in Down syndrome (LOMEDS): A systematic review with individual patients' data analysis.

INTRODUCTION: The late onset myoclonic epilepsy in Down Syndrome (LOMEDS) is a peculiar epilepsy type characterized by cortical myoclonus and generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS), in people suffering from cognitive decline in Down syndrome (DS). In this review, we analyzed available data on the diagnostic and therapeutic management of individuals with LOMEDS.

METHODS: We performed a systematic search of the literature to identify the diagnostic and therapeutic management of patients with LOMEDS. The following databases were used: PubMed, Google Scholar, EMBASE, CrossRef. The protocol was registered on PROSPERO (registration code: CRD42023390748).

RESULTS: Data from 46 patients were included. DS was diagnosed according to the patient's clinical and genetic characteristics. Diagnosis of Alzheimer's dementia (AD) preceded the onset of epilepsy in all cases. Both myoclonic seizures (MS) and generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) were reported, the latter preceding the onset of MS in 28 cases. EEG was performed in 45 patients, showing diffuse theta/delta slowing with superimposed generalized spike-and-wave or polyspike-and-wave. A diffuse cortical atrophy was detected in 34 patients on neuroimaging. Twenty-seven patients were treated with antiseizure medication (ASM) monotherapy, with reduced seizure frequency in 17 patients. Levetiracetam and valproic acid were the most used ASMs. Up to 41% of patients were unresponsive to first-line treatment and needed adjunctive therapy for seizure control.

CONCLUSIONS: AD-related pathological changes in the brain may play a role in LOMEDS onset, although the mechanism underlying this phenomenon is still unknown. EEG remains the most relevant investigation to be performed. A significant percentage of patients developed a first-line ASM refractory epilepsy. ASMs which modulate the glutamatergic system may represent a good therapeutic option.

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