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See detailTesting association of rare genetic variants with resistance to three common antiseizure medications
Wolking, Stefan; Moreau, Claudia; Nies, Anne T. et al

in Epilepsia (2020), 61(n/a), 657-666

Abstract Objective Drug resistance is a major concern in the treatment of individuals with epilepsy. No genetic markers for resistance to individual antiseizure medication (ASM) have yet been identified ... [more ▼]

Abstract Objective Drug resistance is a major concern in the treatment of individuals with epilepsy. No genetic markers for resistance to individual antiseizure medication (ASM) have yet been identified. We aimed to identify the role of rare genetic variants in drug resistance for three common ASMs: levetiracetam (LEV), lamotrigine (LTG), and valproic acid (VPA). Methods A cohort of 1622 individuals of European descent with epilepsy was deeply phenotyped and underwent whole exome sequencing (WES), comprising 575 taking LEV, 826 LTG, and 782 VPA. We performed gene- and gene set–based collapsing analyses comparing responders and nonresponders to the three drugs to determine the burden of different categories of rare genetic variants. Results We observed a marginally significant enrichment of rare missense, truncating, and splice region variants in individuals who were resistant to VPA compared to VPA responders for genes involved in VPA pharmacokinetics. We also found a borderline significant enrichment of truncating and splice region variants in the synaptic vesicle glycoprotein (SV2) gene family in nonresponders compared to responders to LEV. We did not see any significant enrichment using a gene-based approach. Significance In our pharmacogenetic study, we identified a slightly increased burden of damaging variants in gene groups related to drug kinetics or targeting in individuals presenting with drug resistance to VPA or LEV. Such variants could thus determine a genetic contribution to drug resistance. [less ▲]

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See detailIntestinal-Cell Kinase and Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy.
Lerche, Holger; Berkovic, Sam F.; Lowenstein, Daniel H. et al

in New England Journal of Medicine (2019), 380(16), 24

With regard to the article by Bailey et al. (March 15, 2018, issue) on the potential role of variants in the gene encoding intestinal cell kinase (ICK) in genetic generalized epilepsies, including ... [more ▼]

With regard to the article by Bailey et al. (March 15, 2018, issue) on the potential role of variants in the gene encoding intestinal cell kinase (ICK) in genetic generalized epilepsies, including juvenile myoclonic epilepsy: We attempted replication by rechecking for enrichment of ICK variants in two previously published analyses of mainly familial cases of genetic generalized epilepsy, which included a total of 1149 cases of genetic generalized epilepsy and 5911 ethnically matched controls. We analyzed the burden of single-gene rare variants with the use of whole exome sequencing data, applying population stratification and both sample and variant quality control. We found no evidence of an enrichment of ICK variants in genetic generalized epilepsies or juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. Specifically, we did not detect a nonsynonymous variant in 357 persons with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy at a minor allele frequency at or below 0.1%. Although we cannot exclude the possibility that ICK variants may be population-specific risk factors for juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, the lack of validation in our cohorts does not support a true disease association but rather suggests that the authors’ results may be due to chance, possibly owing to methodologic issues (see the Supplementary Appendix, available with the full text of this letter at NEJM.org). [less ▲]

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See detailGenomic and clinical predictors of lacosamide response in refractory epilepsies
Heavin, Sinéad B.; McCormack, Mark; Wolking, Stefan et al

in Epilepsia Open (2019), 0(0),

Abstract Objective Clinical and genetic predictors of response to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are largely unknown. We examined predictors of lacosamide response in a real-world clinical setting. Methods We ... [more ▼]

Abstract Objective Clinical and genetic predictors of response to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are largely unknown. We examined predictors of lacosamide response in a real-world clinical setting. Methods We tested the association of clinical predictors with treatment response using regression modeling in a cohort of people with refractory epilepsy. Genetic assessment for lacosamide response was conducted via genome-wide association studies and exome studies, comprising 281 candidate genes. Results Most patients (479/483) were treated with LCM in addition to other AEDs. Our results corroborate previous findings that patients with refractory genetic generalized epilepsy (GGE) may respond to treatment with LCM. No clear clinical predictors were identified. We then compared 73 lacosamide responders, defined as those experiencing greater than 75% seizure reduction or seizure freedom, to 495 nonresponders (<25% seizure reduction). No variants reached the genome-wide significance threshold in our case-control analysis. Significance No genetic predictor of lacosamide response was identified. Patients with refractory GGE might benefit from treatment with lacosamide. [less ▲]

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