Hormone therapy ‘can improve frontal lobe epilepsy outcomes’

Posted Apr 30 2014 in Brain science; genetics

A form of hormone therapy has been shown to improve outcomes for patients with drug-resistant frontal lobe epilepsy in a small long-term study.

Researchers from Bellaria Hospital in Italy recruited six patients to measure the efficacy of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) therapy in the treatment of patients with frontal lobe epilepsy and secondary bilateral synchrony.

The effects of ACTH were assessed after six weeks, six months and 12 months after the end of treatment. At short-term follow-up, the treatment was effective for all types of seizures in five of  the six patients.

It was subsequently shown that all patients who were seizure-free at the end of ACTH treatment maintained an excellent outcome, remaining seizure-free at the end of the follow-up period.

The researchers said: “Our study demonstrates that ACTH may represent an effective treatment for frontal lobe epilepsy with secondary bilateral synchrony. Further double-blind prospective studies are required to confirm our initial findings.”

ACTH therapy is a form of steroid treatment used for patients with several forms of medically intractable epilepsy. It is not a common form of therapy due to the risk of side effects, but can be effective in certain cases.

Posted by Steve Long

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