Changing characteristics of epilepsy interventional clinical trials over the last decade: Clinicaltrials.Gov registry

Vahid Eslami, Morgan C. Lola, Steven C. Karceski, Jose E. Cavazos, Charles Ákos Szabó

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Epilepsy affects about 1% of the world's population (over 50 million). Of these, one-third have refractory or medication-resistant epilepsy. This group of people drives the development and testing of new interventions for epilepsy. To better address the needs of people with epilepsy, the characteristics of clinical trials, as well as the gaps in the population of interest, need to be evaluated. Methods: We searched the database using the keywords “seizure” or “epilepsy” between 9/1/2008−9/1/2018 and filtering for Interventional Clinical trials. The data were categorized by three equal time intervals (tertiles), and evaluated by type of intervention (behavioral, diet, device, drug, other), primary purpose (treatment, diagnosis, prevention, or basic science), gender, age, phase (Phase1 to Phase 4 trials), length and status of the study, enrollment/recruitment/randomization, location, blinding status, assignment group (single/parallel/crossover/factorial/sequential), and funding. We focused on drugs and devices and used a binary logistic regression model to analyze the role of time, length of study, funding, location, randomization, and age. Results: We found 359 epilepsy clinical trials; of these, 245 (68.2%) clinical trials involved drugs, and 55 (15.3%) were device trials. Over the three tertiles, the percentage of device trials increased while medication trials decreased. Device:drug trial odds ratios increased six times by the third tertile. Also, the results showed that clinical trials for drugs and devices occurred more in adults than children. Industry funding decreased 20% over time. The US contribution to clinical research was stable, but device trials were more likely to occur outside of the US. Conclusion: Drugs constitute the substantial fields of interventional trials in epilepsy but decreased in proportion over the last decade, while the presence of the device trials steadily increased. Device trials focused on treatment and diagnosis of seizures and have been more invested in non-US countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106350
JournalEpilepsy Research
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Antiseizure medications
  • Devices
  • Epilepsy
  • Interventional trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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