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The impact of COVID‐19 in Dravet syndrome: A UK survey

Balestrini, S; Wilson, G; Eldred, C; Evans, H; Sisodiya, SM; (2021) The impact of COVID‐19 in Dravet syndrome: A UK survey. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica 10.1111/ane.13405. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To understand the risks, impact and outcome of COVID-19 in people affected by Dravet Syndrome (DS). MATERIALS AND METHODS: An anonymous cross-sectional online survey was conducted between June 17 and July 13, 2020, addressed to families of people with DS. RESULTS: A total of 116 responses were collected, from families of children (n = 86; 74%) and adults (30; 26%) with DS. The majority (106; 91%) were shielded at the family home during lockdown. Symptoms compatible with COVID-19 were reported in 22 (19%) individuals. Only four individuals with symptoms had a PCR swab test, none of which was positive. Only one symptomatic person had antibody testing (but not swab testing), which was positive. One person had repeatedly positive swab tests whilst in hospital for renal failure, but had no typical symptoms of COVID-19. In 50% of people with DS who developed possible or probable COVID-19 symptoms, seizure worsening was reported, in terms of increased seizure frequency or duration or both. Medical attention was required in 9/22 (41%), all of whom were children. CONCLUSIONS: In this cohort of people with DS, we observed an infection rate, determined by compatible symptoms, of 19%, with no deaths and benign outcome in most cases despite the underlying complex epilepsy although children often required medical attention. Early adoption of preventative measures, including testing of symptomatic individuals, regular surveillance for people living in residential care facilities, and shielding of individuals with comorbidities increasing the risk of severe outcome, may limit the impact of COVID-19.

Type: Article
Title: The impact of COVID‐19 in Dravet syndrome: A UK survey
Location: Denmark
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/ane.13405
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/ane.13405
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Keywords: epilepsy, infections, seizures
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10122399
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