Background and Objectives: Pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy (PDE-ALDH7A1) is a developmental epileptic encephalopathy characterized by seizure improvement after pyridoxine supplementation. Adjunct lysine reduction therapies reduce the accumulation of putative neurotoxic metabolites with the goal to improve developmental outcomes. Our objective was to examine the association between treatment with lysine reduction therapies and cognitive outcomes.
Methods: Participants were recruited from within the International Registry for Patients with Pyridoxine-Dependent Epilepsy from August 2014 through March 2021. The primary outcome was standardized developmental test scores associated with overall cognitive ability. The relationship between test scores and treatment was analyzed with multivariable linear regression using a mixed-effects model. A priori, we hypothesized that treatment in early infancy with pyridoxine and lysine reduction therapies would result in a normal developmental outcome. A sub-analysis was performed to evaluate the association between cognitive outcome and lysine reduction therapies initiated in the first six months of life. Results: A total of 112 test scores from 60 participants were available. On average, treatment with pyridoxine and lysine reduction therapies was associated with a non-significant increase of 6.9 points (95% CI -2.7 to 16.5) on developmental testing compared to treatment with pyridoxine alone. For the sub-analysis, a total of 14 developmental testing scores were available from 8 participants. On average, treatment with pyridoxine and lysine reduction therapies in the first six months of life was associated with a significant increase of 21.9 points (95% CI 1.7 to 42.0) on developmental testing.
Discussion: Pyridoxine and lysine reduction therapies at any age was associated with mild improvement in developmental testing and treatment in early infancy was associated with a clinically significant increase in developmental test scores. These results provide insight into the mechanism of intellectual and developmental disability in PDE-ALDH7A1 and emphasize the importance of treatment in early infancy with both pyridoxine and lysine reduction therapies.
Classification of Evidence: This study provides Class IV evidence that in PDE-ALDH7A1, pyridoxine plus lysine reduction therapies compared to pyridoxine alone is not significantly associated with overall higher developmental testing scores, but treatment in the first six months of life is associated with significantly higher developmental testing scores.