2022 Volume 61 Issue 15 Pages 2287-2293
Objective To investigate seizure control in patients with epilepsy during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Method A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted, and the MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, and ClinicalTrials.gov databases were comprehensively searched for relevant studies. Studies that reported seizure control in patients with epilepsy during the COVID-19 pandemic were included. Pooled proportions with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of patients with epilepsy who experienced seizure worsening during the COVID-19 pandemic were assessed using a random-effects model. The quality of the assessment for each study, heterogeneity between the studies, and publication bias were also evaluated. Subgroup analyses were performed, excluding studies with reports of seizures worsening from caregivers.
Results A total of 24 studies with 6,492 patients/caregivers were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled proportion of seizure worsening was 18.5% (95% CI: 13.9-23.6; I2=96%; p<0.01). The pooled proportion of seizure worsening in the subgroup analysis was 18.9% (95% CI: 13.5-25.0; I2=96%; p<0.01).
Conclusion Although the heterogeneity was high, our results showed a relatively high incidence of seizure worsening during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the COVID-19 pandemic, physicians should be aware of the likelihood of worsening seizures in patients with epilepsy.