Genomics in the presurgical epilepsy evaluation.


Moloney PB, Dugan P, Widdess-Walsh P, Devinsky O, Delanty N.



Epilepsy surgery should be considered in all patients with drug-resistant focal epilepsy. The diagnostic presurgical evaluation aims to delineate the epileptogenic zone and its relationship to eloquent brain regions. Genetic testing is not yet routine in presurgical evaluations, despite many monogenic causes of severe epilepsies, including some focal epilepsies. This review highlights genomic data that may inform decisions regarding epilepsy surgery candidacy and strategy. Focal epilepsies due to pathogenic variants in mechanistic target of rapamycin pathway genes are amenable to surgery if clinical, electroencephalography and imaging data are concordant. Epilepsy surgery outcomes are less favourable in patients with pathogenic variants in ion channel genes such as SCN1A. However, genomic data should not be used in isolation to contraindicate epilepsy surgery and should be considered alongside other diagnostic modalities. The additional role of somatic mosaicism in the pathogenesis of focal epilepsies may have implications for surgical planning and prognostication. Here, we advocate for including genomic data in the presurgical evaluation and multidisciplinary discussion for many epilepsy surgery candidates. We encourage neurologists to perform genetic testing in patients with focal non-lesional epilepsy, epilepsy in the setting of intellectual disability and epilepsy due to specific malformations of cortical development. The integration of genomics into the presurgical evaluation assists selection of patients for resective surgery and fosters a personalised medicine approach, where precision or targeted therapies are considered alongside surgical procedures.


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