Seizure Dogs Can Reduce Seizure Frequency, Improve HRQoL in Epilepsy

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 28, 2024 (HealthDay News) — An intervention involving seizure dogs can reduce seizure frequency and increase the number of seizure-free days among people living with severe medically refractory epilepsy, according to a study published online Feb. 28 in Neurology.

Valérie van Hezik-Wester, from Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted an individual-level stepped-wedge randomized controlled trial among adults with daily to weekly seizures in the Netherlands. Participants received a seizure dog in a randomized sequence during the 36-month follow-up; 20 participants were observed under both the usual care and intervention conditions.

The researchers found that on average, participants experienced 115 and 73 seizures per 28-day period in the usual care and intervention conditions. At the end of follow-up, seven participants achieved a reduction of 50 percent or more. For each consecutive 28-day period with the intervention, generalized linear mixed modeling indicated a 3.1 percent decrease in seizure frequency. In addition, there was an increase seen in the number of seizure-free days, but no change in seizure severity. Improvement was seen in the generic health-related quality of life (HRQoL) scores, as reflected by a decrease in the EQ-5D-5L utility decrement. Smaller improvements were seen in overall self-rated HRQoL, epilepsy-specific HRQoL, and well-being.

“This research showed improvements across all outcome measures except for seizure severity over time with the intervention. Improvements in seizure frequency and generic HRQoL were most sizeable,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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