A new clinical trial to investigate the prevention of epilepsy in children with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) has begun at the University of Texas.TSC is a rare genetic condition that causes growths known as ‘tubers’ to develop in different organs, including the brain. It can affect neurological functions, leading to seizures, developmental delay, autism and intellectual disability. Recent evidence estimates that 80% of people with TSC develop epilepsy within the first three years of life, and this is often drug-resistant.During the current study, researchers will recruit 80 infants with TSC. They will monitor their brain activity via EEG and at the first sign of abnormality half of the group will be given vigabatrin (a drug used to treat infantile spasms) and half will receive a placebo. If/when clinical seizures develop, the children will change to standard care for TSC and seizures. The team will follow the children for three years to monitor the onset and severity of seizures and developmental progress.The researchers hope to find out whether early intervention with vigabatrin will have a beneficial effect on developmental outcomes and delay/prevent the onset of seizures.Associate Professor Mary Koenig, Lead Investigator on the trial comments: “It (vigabatrin) could potentially be a game-changer for epilepsy in general as it is the first trial ever aimed at preventing seizures from developing in a vulnerable population.”Click here for more articles about epilepsy in children.