NOV 23, 2019 11:13 PM PST

Drug Seeks To Target Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Ever imagined a world where you cannot shower alone, drive by yourself, and even go to work in fear of having the next seizure that can incapacitate you? Unfortunately, this is the life of many patients with epilepsy—a chronic seizure condition. To bring hope, researchers at John Hopkins University found that an investigational drug called ‘cenobamate’ can reduce seizures by 55%.

Although there exists more than 20 anti-seizure drugs on the market, approximately half of epilepsy patients don’t become seizure-free on these medications. Cenobamate, which is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), aims to target treatment-resistant epilepsy. In order for cenobamate to be approved, it must be safely administered and evaluated in 30,000 epileptic patients

“A quarter of the patients I treat with this drug [cenobamate] who were disabled by frequent partial-onset (focal) seizures now have been seizure-free for several years,” says lead investigator Gregory Krauss, M.D., professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “It is wonderful to see the improvement in many of my patients’ lives. They have improved confidence and can live more normal lives. Many can now work, and both patients and caretakers can be more independent.”

Learn more about epilepsy:

In the study, regular treatment was stimulated and clinical participants were given 100, 200 or 400 milligrams of cenobamate or a placebo pill with the cenobamate dose increasing for up to six weeks until the desired testing dose was reached. However, to meet FDA ethical standards, participants must remain on their regularly prescribed anti-seizure medication.

Findings of the study were published in The Lancet Neurology.

Source: Hopkins Medicine

About the Author
Doctorate (PhD)
Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
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