Neurology

Treatment effects and comorbid diseases in 58 patients with visual snow

Objective

To evaluate pharmacologic treatment options for visual snow and to report prevalence of comorbid diseases.

Methods

Medical charts of patients with a diagnosis of visual snow at the neurology outpatient clinic were reviewed on prescribed medication, and comorbid migraine, tinnitus, and psychiatric conditions including depression and anxiety.

Results

From 2007 to 2018, 58 patients were diagnosed with visual snow. Comorbid migraine was present in 51.7% of patients, lifetime depression in 41.4%, and lifetime anxiety in 44.8%. Lamotrigine was prescribed most frequently (26/58) and resulted in partial remission of symptoms in 5/26 (19.2%). No patients reported complete remission. Adverse events occurred in 13/26 (50.0%) patients. None of the other prescribed drugs (valproate [n = 7], topiramate [n = 4], acetazolamide [n = 2], flunarizine [n = 1]) led to improvement except for topiramate in one patient, who discontinued, however, because of adverse events.

Conclusions

Of medication prescribed (lamotrigine, valproate, acetazolamide, flunarizine), only lamotrigine afforded some improvement in a small minority of patients. Migraine, depression, anxiety, and tinnitus were common comorbid diseases.

Classification of evidence

This study provides Class IV evidence that for some patients with visual snow, lamotrigine resulted in partial remission of symptoms.

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