More Positive Outlook For Patients With Epilepsy

May 16, 2017
Epileptic Medications

New Research from the University of Liverpool and the Mario Negri Institute in Milan Identified a protein that could help patients with Epilepsy have a more positive response to drug therapies.

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases. With over thirty years of drug development, there still are thirty percent of patients that get seizures on their current medication.

For those that still suffer from seizures on their medication, there are newer more effective drugs that could help repress them. There is no definite answer to why people develop seizures or a reason why individuals develop epilepsy from seizures. An important question to ask would be – why some patients cannot use certain medication to control their seizures.

The latest evidence suggests that inflammation in the brain may be important in preventing the brain from controlling the seizures. Inflammation is the bodies reaction to insults to protect itself from foreign substances. In most cases, after the seizure, the inflammation will subside but in others, the inflammation will continue.

The recent study by Dr. Lauren Walker was to answer the question on how inflammation can be detected by using blood samples. If the inflammation could be detected what treatment could help reduce the reaction and improve the control of seizures.

Dr. Lauren Walker’s research was focused on a protein called high mobility group box-1 (HMGB1). This protein also referred to as isoforms, can be found in tissues and the bodies bloodstream. When HMGB1 is tested, can provide a marker to gauge the levels of inflammation present in the patient.

The results of this research showed a persistent increase in these isoforms in newly-diagnosed epileptic patients that continued to have seizures despite taking their medication. The patients that have control of their seizures under their medication did not have an increase in these isoforms.

The study also found that the HMGB1 Isoform might predict how a patient with epilepsy will respond to the anti-inflammatory drugs. Dr. Lauren Walker believes that this opens a new area for drug testing and improvement on anti-epileptic medication.

Dr. Lauren Walker, said: “Our data suggest that HMGB1 isoforms represent potential new drug targets, which could also identify which patients will respond to anti-inflammatory therapies. This will require evaluation in larger-scale prospective trials.”

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