Antiepileptogenesis after Stroke - Trials and Tribulations: Methodological Challenges and Recruitment Results of a Phase II Study with Eslicarbazepine Acetate.

Koepp MJ, Trinka E, Mah YH, Bentes C, Knake S, Gigli GL, Serratosa JM, Zelano J, Magalhães LM, Pereira A, Moreira J, Soares-da-Silva P

Epilepsia Open - (-) - [2023-03-21; online 2023-03-21]

There is currently no evidence to support the use of antiseizure medications to prevent unprovoked seizures following stroke. Experimental animal models suggested a potential antiepileptogenic effect for eslicarbazepine acetate (ESL), and a Phase II, multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was designed to test this hypothesis and assess whether ESL treatment for 1 month can prevent unprovoked seizures following stroke. We outline the design and status of this antiepileptogenesis study, and discuss the challenges encountered in its execution to date. Patients at high risk of developing unprovoked seizures after acute intracerebral haemorrhage or acute ischaemic stroke were randomised to receive ESL 800 mg/day or placebo, initiated within 120 hours after primary stroke occurrence. Treatment continued until Day 30, then tapered off. Patients could receive all necessary therapies for stroke treatment according to clinical practice guidelines and standard of care, and are being followed up for 18 months. The primary efficacy endpoint is occurrence of a first unprovoked seizure within 6 months after randomisation ('failure rate'). Secondary efficacy assessments include occurrence of a first unprovoked seizure during 12 months after randomisation and during the entire study; functional outcomes (Barthel Index original 10-item version; National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale); post-stroke depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9; PHQ-9); and overall survival. Safety assessments include evaluation of treatment-emergent adverse events; laboratory parameters; vital signs; electrocardiogram; suicidal ideation and behaviour (PHQ-9 question 9). The protocol aimed to randomise approximately 200 patients (1:1), recruited from 21 sites in seven European countries and Israel. Despite the challenges encountered, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, the study progressed and included a remarkable number of patients, with 129 screened and 125 randomised. Recruitment was stopped after 30 months, the first patient entered in May 2019, and the study is ongoing and following up on patients according to the Clinical Trial Protocol.

Category: Health

Type: Journal article

PubMed 36944588

DOI 10.1002/epi4.12735

Crossref 10.1002/epi4.12735


Publications 9.2.2