Epilepsy: Novel Approaches to Treatment

MAY 04, 2017
Amy Jacob

Andres Kanner, MD, Professor of Clinical Neurology, Chief of Epilepsy Division from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine addressed that there were several medications in the pipeline being tested for different aspects of epilepsy treatment.
“We’re looking forward to that drug to be available; because I think it’s going to transform the way we approach epilepsy. Then there are several drugs in phases of testing in the pipeline.” One change, Kanner discussed, was that they are trying to target medications to some of the pathogenic mechanisms that may be associated with the seizure disorder. One of them is the inflammation tier of epilepsy; there is an attempt to develop drugs that have anti-inflammatory properties.  Those are possibilities that could potentially be resolved in a different type of drug. We have seen, in the last two years, the advent of a new drug with a different mechanism of action.
According to Kanner, there are very many unanswered questions in the field of epilepsy. “We still don’t have answers for the cause of a big number of seizure disorders. I think a big unmet need in the social domain is education of the population (patients, society) about what epilepsy is what can be done for the management of seizure disorder.” There is a big unmet need for educating the population in recognizing the prevalence of comorbid medical, cognitive, and psychiatric complications, and the fact there are treatments for those conditions.  
“And, I don’t think we’re doing enough to educate the society to get rid of the stigma that is still prevalent in the way patients with epilepsy are treated," Kanner concluded.

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