ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1927.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Neuroscience And Neurology Keywords: COVID19; Children; Epilepsy; Adolescents; Pediatric; Pandemic
Online: 26 May 2023 (11:00:40 CEST)
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted health care worldwide. As the pandemic has been prolonged, quarantine restrictions have been lightened gradu-ally, which can influence outcomes of pediatric patients with chronic disease such as epi-lepsy by increase of susceptibility of the COVID-19 infection. The aim of this study was to determine impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on seizure control and identify potential risk factors that might worsen seizure attacks during the pandemic in children with epilepsy. We performed a retrospective chart review of 48 pediatric patients with epilepsy during the COVID-19 pandemic from January 2016 to July 2022. During the COVID-19 pandemic period, 25% of pediatric patients experienced sei-zure worsening, showing an increase in seizure frequency or duration or both. Factors associated with worsening seizures during pandemic were: diagnosis of epi-lepsy less than one year, comorbid conditions with cerebral palsy or having a tracheosto-my or a PEG, and infection with other viruses (respiratory syncytial virus, influenza virus A, influenza virus B) rather than COVID-19 infection. Our finding highlights the need to proactively monitor and regularly follow up (es-pecially short period of time) patients after they are diagnosed with epilepsy. It is also important to properly manage those who are susceptible to serious illness and keep sea-sonal viral infections under surveillance to manage exacerbated seizure in children with epilepsy. Furthermore, pediatric physicians should not overlook surveillance of seasonal respiratory viruses since quarantine restrictions are getting eased.