Re-purposing existing drugs for the treatment of epilepsy
It is thought that between 30-40% of people with epilepsy have what is termed ‘refractory epilepsy’ as it is not controlled by current medication. Seizures are the result of alterations in the balance in the excitatory and inhibitory electrical signals in the brain. Precisely what causes these alterations is unclear. But now French researchers from INSERM have recently published papers which suggest that medications already available for gout and malaria may prove therapeutic for people with refractive epilepsy by inhibiting pannexin channels. Earlier research had suggested that pannexin channels regulate neuronal excitability and are activated in certain brain conditions eg stroke. This new research suggests that these same channels are implicated in epilepsy and inhibiting them using medications already available for gout and malaria may prove therapeutic for people with refractive epilepsy.
You can read more about the research here: