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Drug treatment of epilepsy: From serendipitous discovery to evolutionary mechanisms

Author(s):

Shengying Lou and Sunliang Cui*  

Abstract:


Epilepsy is a chronic brain disorder caused by abnormal firing of neurons. Up to now, using antiepileptic drugs is the main method of epilepsy treatment. The development of antiepileptic drugs lasted for centuries. In general, most agents entering clinical practice act on the balance mechanisms of brain “excitability-inhibition”. More specifically, they target voltage-gated ion channels, GABAergic transmission and glutamatergic transmission. In recent years, some novel drugs representing new mechanisms of action have been discovered. Although there are about 30 available drugs in the market, it is still in urgent need of discovering more effective and safer drugs. The development of new antiepileptic drugs is into a new era: from serendipitous discovery to evolutionary mechanism-based design. This article presents an overview of drug treatment of epilepsy, including a series of traditional and novel drugs.

Keywords:

Antiepileptic drugs, Mechanism of action, Voltage-gated ion channels, Glutamate, GABA, Synaptic vesicles

Affiliation:

Institute of Drug Discovery and Design, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Institute of Drug Discovery and Design, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou



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