Burden of disease and unmet needs in tuberous sclerosis complex with neurological manifestations: systematic review

Curr Med Res Opin. 2011 Aug;27(8):1571-83. doi: 10.1185/03007995.2011.586687. Epub 2011 Jun 21.


Objectives: Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a progressive genetic disorder characterized by pervasive benign tumor growth. We sought to assess the current understanding of burden of TSC-related neurological manifestations.

Methods: We systematically searched MEDLINE- and EMBASE-indexed, English-language literature (5/2000-5/2010) and non-indexed materials.

Results: In total, 119 articles were included, 115 on epidemiology and treatment. Recent prevalence estimates from Ireland and Taiwan report TSC in 1:14,000-25,000 individuals, below older estimates of 1:10,000. While neurological manifestations are common, treatment is largely unaddressed by guidelines and focuses on symptoms, with resection standard for subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (SEGAs) and common practice for refractory epilepsy. Antiepileptic drugs and mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors safely, effectively minimize the need for surgery for severe epilepsy and SEGAs.

Conclusion: Morbidity and treatment burden of prevalent neurological manifestations is significant, suggesting substantial economic and humanistic burden; however, these areas are poorly studied, indicating total disease burden is unknown. Future research should assess quality of life, caregiver burden, and costs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants* / economics
  • Anticonvulsants* / therapeutic use
  • Astrocytoma* / economics
  • Astrocytoma* / therapy
  • Brain Neoplasms* / economics
  • Brain Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Epilepsy* / economics
  • Epilepsy* / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Tuberous Sclerosis* / economics
  • Tuberous Sclerosis* / therapy


  • Anticonvulsants