Behavioral problems and family distress in tuberous sclerosis complex

Mitsugu Uematsu, Yurika Numata-Uematsu, Yu Aihara, Tomoko Kobayashi, Mayu Fujikawa, Noriko Togashi, Takashi Shiihara, Kei Ohashi, Ayako Hattori, Shinji Saitoh, Shigeo Kure

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC)-associated neuropsychiatric disorders (TAND) have a large impact on patients and their families. Improving intellectual ability outcomes using preventive vigabatrin (VGB) treatment has recently been reported. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the severity of behavioral problems and degree of distress among families of patients with TSC with and without a history of VGB treatment. Method: The study enrolled 21 children and adolescents who were patients with TSC from four hospitals: 14 in the VGB group and 7 in the no-VGB group. To evaluate patients' psychiatric and neurological symptoms, we used the TAND Checklist, Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC), Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ), and Social Responsive Scale–2nd edition (SRS-2). Results: All VGB-group patients were administered VGB after the onset of epileptic seizures. No obvious differences were observed between the VGB and no-VGB groups in behavioral problem scores on the TAND Checklist, or on the ABC, SCQ, and SRS-2 total scores. Behavioral problem scores were lower in patients with normal intelligence than in those with mild intellectual disability (ID; P = 0.042). Degrees of family distress assessed with the TAND Checklist were not correlated with the intelligence quotient/developmental quotient (IQ/DQ) or seizure frequency but were correlated with the total SRS-2 scores (P = 0.022). For several patients, there were large discrepancies between familial and physician ratings of the TAND impact score. Conclusion: Children and adolescents with TSC may present with significant behavioral difficulties and family distress, regardless of whether they were treated with VGB or not after the onset of seizures. Difficulties in social communication may have the strongest “TAND impact” on families.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107321
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct


  • SRS-2
  • TAND
  • TAND Checklist
  • Tuberous sclerosis complex
  • Vigabatrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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