March 24, 2023

WSU neurologists lead clinical trial to test medicine for ongoing seizures

Drs. Wazim Mohamed and Maysaa Basha are co-investigators on the clinical trial.

Two neurologists at the Wayne State University School of Medicine will begin recruiting patients in May for a clinical trial to test the effectiveness and safety of the medicine Perampanel in the treatment of Refractory Status Epilepticus.

Patients presenting with seizures that are ongoing for an extended period after treatment with benzodiazepines and antiseizure medications are said to be in refractory status epilepticus.

Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery Wazim Mohamed, M.D., and Interim Chair and Associate Professor of Neurology Maysaa Basha, M.D. ’05, are co-investigators on the two-year study that will test if the mechanism of action unique to Perampanel may be a key in its effectiveness in refractory status epilepticus.

Status epilepticus is estimated to be refractory in about 30% of cases, associated with increased morbidity and mortality, and requires continuous electroencephalogram monitoring to guide treatment, Dr. Mohamed said. It is seen across all ages, with around 200,000 cases in the United States annually.

Dr. Mohamed is director of the Neurocritical Care Fellowship training program at Detroit Medical Center. He completed his residency training at WSU. He is also medical director of the Neurocritical Care Unit at Detroit Receiving Hospital.

“The mortality associated with refractory status epilepticus is as high as 40%,” he said. “The success rate in the treatment of refractory status epilepticus can vary depending on a number of factors, including the underlying cause, the age and general health of the patient, and the type and timing of the treatments used. Studies have reported success rates as low as 40% in patients with refractory status epilepticus, with early diagnosis and treatment improving prognosis.”

Perampanel is a selective noncompetitive AMPA receptor antagonist.

“We hypothesize that Perampanel will aid in successfully weaning off intravenous anesthetic agents without recurrence of seizures in patients with refractory status epilepticus,” Dr. Mohamed said.

“These patients often require intravenous anesthetic agents, and will be required to undergo intubation and mechanical ventilation,” Dr. Mohamed added. “The next step in their treatment course is to come off the intravenous anesthetic agents without recurrence of seizures. In this study, while patients are on anesthetic agents, we will administer Perampanel, which we hypothesize will lead to successfully coming off anesthetic agents without recurrence of seizures.”

For more information on the clinical trial, visit

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