Department of Neurology

The future of epilepsy therapy

Q: Hello! I am a Swedish pharmacy student who is looking through the web to find some information about future treatment of epilepsy. My simple question is: What future aspects are there in epilepsy treatment -- what kind of treatments are currently being developed and how do they differ from the old ways of treating it. My main concern, of course, is pharmaceutic, but I would like some information about non-pharmacological treatments as well.

If you would give me an answer I would be most grateful.


A: Well, I'm not a part of the "network for psychic buddies," but since you asked, I'll give you my opinions, grouped by probabilities:

1) Things we'll likely see in the near future:

Over the next 2-3 years we will continue to see a steady stream of new seizure medications. Although none will be the drug to end all other drugs, each addtional medication raises the promise of controlling more persons with epilepsy. The additional numbers of seizure medications may also increase the probability that a less toxic medication can be found for a given individual. There will likely be new devices available for epilepsy - the vagus nerve stimulator (already available in the European Community), and possibly the thalamic stimulator.

More genetic markers and possibly, specific gene products, will be elucidated for persons with family histories epilepsy. This will help to identify persons "at risk."

-- Probable U.S. drug releases for 1997:

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