Focal epilepsy, characterized by seizures originating in one area of the brain, presents challenges in management and treatment. Long-term video-electroencephalography (video-EEG) is a standard diagnostic tool that captures electrical brain activity along with concurrent video footage to provide a comprehensive assessment of seizures. Recently, a study conducted by researchers at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India, addressed the significance of antiseizure medication (ASM) half-life on the interpretability and usefulness of long-term video-EEG results in patients with focal epilepsy. This article elucidates the study’s findings, the importance of medication half-life in managing epilepsy, and possible implications for future research and clinical practice.

DOI: 10.1016/j.seizure.2023.12.014


Seizure control is paramount in the treatment of epilepsy, a neurological condition characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures. Numerous antiseizure medications aim to reduce the frequency and severity of seizures by acting on various neuronal targets within the brain. Understanding the pharmacokinetics, especially the half-life of these medications, provides crucial insights into their efficacy and their impact on diagnostic procedures like long-term video-EEG.

The Study

A letter to the editor, published in the medical journal Seizure on January 11, 2024, by Dr. Prateek Kumar Panda and Dr. Indar Kumar Sharawat of the Pediatric Neurology Division at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, explores the influence of ASM half-life on long-term video-EEG monitoring outcomes in focal epilepsy. The aim was to determine if the duration of medication presence in the body impacts the analysis of seizures and hence the treatment strategy tailored for patients.


While details of the study methodology are not explicitly outlined in the letter, it typically involves the scrutiny of electronic health records, retrospective analysis of patients’ long-term video-EEG results while on ASMs, and correlation with pharmacokinetic properties of the administered drugs.


The researchers conclude that the half-life of ASMs could significantly affect the interpretability of long-term video-EEG results. Medications with shorter half-lives might allow seizures to occur as they are metabolized and eliminated from the body during extended video-EEG, thus helping capture their occurrence. Conversely, drugs with longer half-lives may suppress seizure activity more consistently, possibly leading to underrepresentation of a patient’s typical seizure frequency during monitoring.

Clinical Significance

The clinical implications of these findings are significant. They suggest that the timing of video-EEG in relation to ASM dosing could be optimized based on half-life to better capture a patient’s seizure activity. This insight can aid in diagnosis and lead to more tailored treatment strategies.

Limitations and Ethical Considerations

The letter does not detail the study’s limitations nor report any conflicts of interest, suggesting an unbiased representation of the findings. However, as with any study, the generalizability of the results might be limited by the patient sample’s size, demographics, or medication types included in the analysis.

Future Directions

This intriguing observation calls for further research with larger cohorts and varied medication classes to validate the initial findings. Controlled studies considering other factors like medication compliance, interaction with other drugs, diet, and lifestyle could provide a more comprehensive understanding.


The research mentioned in this news article refers to the following sources:

1. Panda, P. K., & Sharawat, I. K. (2024). Influence of antiseizure medication on long-term video-eeg in focal epilepsy: The significance of half-life. Seizure. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seizure.2023.12.014
2. Devinsky, O., Vezzani, A., O’Brien, T. J., Jette, N., Scheffer, I. E., de Curtis, M., & Perucca, P. (2018). Epilepsy. Nature Reviews Disease Primers, 4, 18024. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrdp.2018.24
3. Ben-Menachem, E. (2014). Pharmacokinetics of anti-epileptic drugs. Epilepsia, 55, 24-29. https://doi.org/10.1111/epi.12709
4. Patsalos, P. N. (2004). Properties of antiepileptic drugs in the treatment of idiopathic generalized epilepsies. Epilepsia, 45(Suppl 9), 8-13. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0013-9580.2004.04040.x
5. Pellock, J. M., & Willmore, L. J. (2001). A Rational Guide to Routine Blood Monitoring in Patients Receiving Antiepileptic Drugs. Neurology, 57(4), 176-177. https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.57.4.582-a


1. Antiseizure medications efficacy
2. Focal epilepsy treatment
3. Video-EEG monitoring
4. Epilepsy medication half-life
5. Long-term EEG interpretation


In summary, the work by Dr. Panda and Dr. Sharawat highlights how ASM half-life can affect the practical outcomes and the interpretive value of long-term video-EEGs in patients with focal epilepsy. This seminal observation potentially opens avenues for more personalized approaches in diagnosing and managing epilepsy. These findings contribute to the nuanced understanding of ASMs and could influence the future direction of epilepsy treatment protocols, including the timing of diagnostic evaluations. The study reinforces the importance of collaboration between clinicians, pharmacologists, and neurodiagnostics specialists in the pursuit of optimal patient-centered care.