Childhood Absence Epilepsy Study

Childhood Absence Epilepsy: Rx PK-PD-Pharmacogenetics Study

Protocol Description

The purpose of this study is to determine the best initial treatment for childhood absence epilepsy (CAE), a common syndrome that affects 10 to 15 percent of children with epilepsy. Individuals with CAE have brief staring-spell seizures that occur suddenly and impair the individual’s ability to learn and play, and lead to higher injury rates. One of three medications is generally used as the first treatment for children with CAE. The goal of this study is to determine which of these medications is the best first choice and to develop methods that may be used to help choose the best medicine for each individual diagnosed with CAE.

Eligibility Criteria

Children ages 30 months through 13 years with a clinical diagnosis of CAE consistent with the International League Against Epilepsy Proposal for Revised Classification of Epilepsies and Epileptic Syndromes are eligible to participate. Approximately 440 children will take part in the study at 30 medical centers across the United States, including Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.
Boys: 30 months through 13 years
Girls: 30 months through 13 years


Study participants will be randomly given one of the common CAE treatments and will visit the research clinic every 1 to 3 months during the 2-year study period. During the visits, participants will undergo regular testing to determine if the medicine is working, to watch for side effects and to help researchers learn more about the responses to these medicines.
Visits: 8 - 24
Duration: 2 years

Status: Closed to Enrollment

Source(s) of Support

National Institutes of Health

Primary Investigator

Patricia Crumrine, MD

Contact Information

To get started, please contact: Regina Fenton, CRNP