All Publications

  • Identification of seizure clusters using free text notes in an electronic seizure diary. Epilepsy & behavior : E&B Werbaneth, K., Cramer, J. A., Bartfeld, E., Fisher, R. S. 2020; 113: 107498


    SIGNIFICANCE: Online seizure diaries offer a wealth of information regarding real world experience of patients living with epilepsy. Free text notes (FTN) written by patients reflect concerns and priorities of patients and provide supplemental information to structured diary data.OBJECTIVE: This project evaluated feasibility using an automated lexical analysis to identify FTN relevant to seizure clusters (SCs).METHODS: Data were extracted from EpiDiary, a free electronic epilepsy diary with 42,799 unique users, generating 1,096,168 entries and 247,232 FTN. Both structured data as well as FTN were analyzed for presence of SC. A pilot study was conducted to validate an automated lexical analysis algorithm to identify SC in FTN in a sample of 98 diaries. The lexical analysis was then applied to the entire dataset. Outcomes included cluster prevalence and frequency, as well as the types of triggers commonly reported.RESULTS: At least one FTN was found among 13,987 (32.68%) individual diaries. An automated lexical analysis algorithm identified 5797 of FTN as SC. There were 2423 unique patients with SC that were not identified by structured data alone and were identified using lexical analysis of FTN only. Seizure clusters were identified in n = 10,331 (24.1%) of diary users through both structured data and FTN. The median number of SCs days per year was 13.7, (interquartile rank (IQR): 3.2-54.7). The median number of seizures in a cluster day was 3 (IQR 2-4). The most common missed medication linked to patients with SC was levetiracetam (n = 576, 29%) followed by lamotrigine (n = 495, 24%), topiramate (n = 208, 10.5%), carbamazepine (n = 190, 9.6%), and lacosamide (n = 170, 8.6%). These percentages generally reflected prevalence of medication use in this population. The use of rescue medications was documented in 3306 of structured entries and 4305 in FTN.CONCLUSION: This exploratory study demonstrates a novel approach applying lexical analysis to previously untapped FTN in a large electronic seizure diary database. Free text notes captured information about SC not available from the structured diary data. Diary FTN contain information of high importance to people with epilepsy, written in their own words.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.yebeh.2020.107498

    View details for PubMedID 33096508

  • Status epilepticus and other EEG findings in patients with COVID-19: A case series. Seizure Chen, W., Toprani, S., Werbaneth, K., Falco-Walter, J. 2020; 81: 198–200


    PURPOSE: Neurological manifestations of COVID-19 infection include impaired consciousness, strokes, and seizures. Limited reports describing EEG abnormalities in patients with COVID-19 have been published. These articles reported nonspecific encephalopathic patterns, epileptiform discharges, and rarely seizures. Our primary aim was to assess EEG abnormalities in patients with COVID-19 and evaluate for epileptiform activity or seizures.METHODS: We identified five critically ill adult patients with COVID-19 who underwent EEG monitoring. All patients had Ceribell rapid response EEG initially and two continued with conventional long-term video EEG.RESULTS: All 5 patients had encephalopathy and 3 also had seizure-like movements, thus prompting EEG monitoring. EEGs all showed nonspecific markers of encephalopathy including diffuse slowing and generalized rhythmic delta activity. Two also had epileptiform discharges reaching 2-3 Hz at times, with one patient in nonconvulsive status epilepticus and the other developing clinical status epilepticus with myoclonic movements. EEG and clinical symptoms improved with anti-seizure medications.CONCLUSION: Status epilepticus was present in 2 out of our cohort of 5 critically ill patients who underwent EEG monitoring. These findings highlight the importance of EEG monitoring in high-risk patients with COVID-19 and encephalopathy. EEG recordings in such patients can identify pathological patterns that will benefit from treatment with anti-seizure medications.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.seizure.2020.08.022

    View details for PubMedID 32861152

  • Computational analysis of Seizure Clusters in electronic diary free text notes Werbaneth, K., Cramer, J., Bartfeld, E., Fisher, R. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2020
  • Tilt-Corrected Region Boundaries May Enhance the Alberta Stroke Program Early Computed Tomography Score for Less Experienced Raters. Journal of stroke and cerebrovascular diseases : the official journal of National Stroke Association Culbertson, C. J., Christensen, S., Mlynash, M., Heit, J. J., Federau, C., Sells, C. M., Legault, C., McCaslin, A. F., Werbaneth, K., Albers, G. W., Lansberg, M. G. 2020: 104820


    The Alberta Stroke Program Early Computed Tomography Score (ASPECTS) is widely used to quantify early ischemic changes in the anterior circulation but has limited inter-rater reliability.We investigated whether application of 3-dimensional boundaries outlining the ASPECTS regions improves inter-rater reliability and accuracy.We included all patients from our DEFUSE 2 database who had a pretreatment noncontrast computed tomography scan (NCCT) of acceptable quality. Six raters (2 neuroradiologists, 2 vascular neurologists, and 2 neurology residents) scored ASPECTS of each NCCT without ("CT-native") and with the superimposed boundary template ("CT-template"). Gold-standard ASPECTS were generated by the 2 neuroradiologists through joint adjudication. Inter-rater reliability and accuracy were assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) for full-scale agreements and Gwet's AC1 for dichotomized (ASPECTS 0-6 vs 7-10) agreements.Eighty-two patients were included. Inter-rater reliability improved with higher training level for both CT-native (ICC = .15, .31, .54 for residents, neurologists, and radiologists, respectively) and CT-template (ICC = .18, .33, .56). Use of the boundary template improved correlation with the gold-standard for one resident on full-scale agreement (ICC increased from .01 to .31, P = .01) and another resident on dichotomized agreement (AC1 increased from .36 to .64, P = .01), but resulted in no difference for other raters. The template did not improve ICC between raters of the same training level.Inter-rater reliability of ASPECTS improves with physician training level. Standardized display of ASPECTS region boundaries on NCCT does not improve inter-rater reliability but may improve accuracy for some less experienced raters.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2020.104820

    View details for PubMedID 32307316

  • National Variability in Prion Disease-Related Safety Policies for Neurologic Procedures. The Neurohospitalist Werbaneth, K., Tummalapalli, P., Gold, C. A. 2019; 9 (4): 222–25


    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders that can be transmitted via contact with infective tissue. Variability in hospital safety policies related to prion disease may place health-care workers at risk. We sought to assess variability of safety policies related to prion disease for neurosurgical procedures and lumbar punctures among neurological institutions in the United States. We e-mailed neurologists associated with 2016 US News and World Report "Top 50" Neurology & Neurosurgery Institutions to request hospital policies regarding safety precautions related to prion disease. For institutional surgical policies, the main outcome was concordance with each of the 8 specific precautions described in World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines published in 1999. No similar guidelines are available for lumbar puncture, so themes were identified and quantified among the lumbar puncture policies we collected. Of the 51 institutions contacted, there were 38 responses. Two institutions did not have relevant policies and 3 institutions declined to share their policies, yielding 33 institutional policies for review. Of these, 85% had a surgical policy and 54% had a lumbar puncture policy. Concordance with all 8 specific precautions described in the WHO guidelines was found in 14% of surgical policies. Lumbar puncture policies demonstrated variability in methods of waste disposal and decontamination procedures. There is significant variability in policies regarding safety precautions in patients with suspected prion disease. We advocate for the formation of national or international committees to examine this issue, set new guidelines, and foster implementation at the level of individual institutions.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/1941874419846338

    View details for PubMedID 31534612

  • "But doctor, I googled it!": The "three Rs" of managing patients in the age of information overload. Clinics in dermatology Mundluru, S. N., Werbaneth, K., Therkelsen, K. E., Larson, A. R., Santini, V. E. 2019; 37 (1): 74–77


    Managing patient interactions in the age of the Internet can be particularly difficult due to the vast amount of information available. Dermatologists should be able to identify relevant patient concerns to adequately address them. We discuss the ethical issues involved in interacting with patients who use the Internet for medical knowledge, and we suggest a method, using the "three Rs" (reassure, redirect, refer), to conduct these interactions. Appropriate evaluation and categorization of patients with regard to their concerns and needs can help guide physicians on how to use the three Rs in managing patient care and expectations.

    View details for PubMedID 30554626

  • Variability of Safety Policies Related to Prion Disease Among Top Neurological Institutions Werbaneth, K., Tummalapalli, P., Kraler, L., Gold, C. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2018
  • Assessing the Role of Cultural Perceptions and Knowledge of Epilepsy on Medication Adherence in a Multi-Ethnic Epilepsy Clinic: A Pilot Study (P7.009) Werbaneth, K., Wilson, E., Ciambotti, A., Montouris, G. 2015
  • Significance of interleukin-13 receptor alpha 2-targeted glioblastoma therapy. Neuro-oncology Thaci, B., Brown, C. E., Binello, E., Werbaneth, K., Sampath, P., Sengupta, S. 2014; 16 (10): 1304–12


    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) remains one of the most lethal primary brain tumors despite surgical and therapeutic advancements. Targeted therapies of neoplastic diseases, including GBM, have received a great deal of interest in recent years. A highly studied target of GBM is interleukin-13 receptor α chain variant 2 (IL13Rα2). Targeted therapies against IL13Rα2 in GBM include fusion chimera proteins of IL-13 and bacterial toxins, nanoparticles, and oncolytic viruses. In addition, immunotherapies have been developed using monoclonal antibodies and cell-based strategies such as IL13Rα2-pulsed dendritic cells and IL13Rα2-targeted chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cells. Advanced therapeutic development has led to the completion of phase I clinical trials for chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cells and phase III clinical trials for IL-13-conjugated bacterial toxin, with promising outcomes. Selective expression of IL13Rα2 on tumor cells, while absent in the surrounding normal brain tissue, has motivated continued study of IL13Rα2 as an important candidate for targeted glioma therapy. Here, we review the preclinical and clinical studies targeting IL13Rα2 in GBM and discuss new advances and promising applications.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/neuonc/nou045

    View details for PubMedID 24723564

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4165413

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