Epilepsy course during COVID-19 pandemic in three Italian epilepsy centers

Corrado Cabona, Francesco Deleo, Lucio Marinelli, Daniela Audenino, Dario Arnaldi, Francesca Rossi, Roberta Di Giacomo, Claudia Buffoni, Giuseppa Jolanda Rosa, Giuseppe Didato, Eleonora Arboscello, Marco de Curtis, Flavio Villani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During epidemic outbreaks, epilepsy course can be modified by different physical and psychological stressors and, most importantly, by irregular therapy intake. The effect of COVID-19 and quarantine isolation on the course of epilepsy and on incidence of new-onset seizures is still unclear. With the aim of managing epilepsy in quarantined patients, three Italian Epilepsy Centers set up telephone consultations using a semistructured interview, allowing a prospective collection of data on seizure course and other seizure-related problems during pandemic. The collected data on seizure course were compared with the analogous period of 2019. The level of patients' concern relating to the COVID-19 pandemic was also assessed using a numeric rating scale. To address the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on seizure incidence, data collection included the number of consultations for first seizures, relapse seizures, and status epilepticus (SE) in the emergency department of one of the participating centers. Clinical telephone interviews suggest the absence of quarantine effect on epilepsy course in our cohort. No differences in incidence of emergency consultations for seizures over a two-month period were also observed compared with a control period. As demonstrated in other infective outbreaks, good antiepileptic drug (AED) supplying, precise information, and reassurance are the most important factors in chronic conditions to minimize psychological and physical stress, and to avoid unplanned treatment interruptions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107375
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Epilepsy
  • First seizure
  • Status epilepticus
  • Telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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