- Epilepsy is a neurological
disorder which causes seizures. Oral anti-epileptic medications are known
to cause side effects such as weight gain and kidney problems.
- The new drug delivery method uses
pump technology, which is implanted in the abdomen.
- The pump effectively administers
small quantities of the drug directly to the brain without causing side
first epilepsy trial which involves administration of drugs directly to the
brain has begun in Australia. Patients with epilepsy
usually administered oral anticonvulsants (anti-seizure) medications. But those
medications are known to cause side effects such as weight gain, kidney
problems, and loss of bone density.
of Epilepsy Drug to the Brain
The drug trial
for epilepsy involves direct delivery of medications to the brain. The trial
uses new drug delivery method called the pump technology, which is implanted in
the abdomen. The direct administration of medications could help reduce side
effects caused by oral anti-epileptic drugs
‘The pump implanted in the abdomen delivers better doses of anti-epileptic medications directly to the brain and reduces side effects of oral medications.’
Cook, the Director of Neurology at St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne, who
started the drug trial, said, "This is a 'first in man study' that holds huge
potential for treating other brain diseases such as Parkinson's disease. It
won't affect just people with epilepsy potentially, but there are lots of brain
diseases that might be better treated by delivering drugs directly to the
Some form of
oral medications must be absorbed into the bloodstream to reach the brain.
amount of the drug reaches the brain whole body gets soaked in the drug in the
meantime," said Prof Cook.
In the new pump
technology, the drugs can be administered directly to where it is needed in
Epilepsy Drug Trial on a 27-year-old
woman named Natalie Kellalea from the Victorian town of Numurkah is the first
patient to be implanted with the drug pump.
tried different combinations of anti-epileptic drugs, but it was unsuccessful,
and she became disabled due to severe seizures.
The St Vincent's
Hospital team has implanted the pump in Kellalea's abdomen which sends anti-epileptic
The pump sends
the drug from the stomach through a tiny tube into the brain cavity where it
can diffuse into the areas causing the 'electrical storm.'
Kellalea had the
first medication Epilim through the pump. "She's going very well so far
but it's obviously early days," said Prof Cook.
hope to implant the pump in eight patients to extend the trial. The pump
technology can be used to administer more effective drugs that are currently
unable to be absorbed by the body.
starting off with drugs that we know and once we finish studying those drugs
and have seen how effective they are, we can look at using other newer drugs
which at the moment can't be given any other way."
cautioned that the trial is only in its infancy and needs pioneering work. If
the trial is a success, patients may not take numerous medications on a daily
basis because the pump would only need to be topped up every few months.
Chief of Cerebral Therapeutics, said, "This was the first time pumps had been
used to deliver medication directly to the brain, in the same way, they had
been used to managespinal pain and stiffness."
technology can also be used to treat other conditions such as Parkinson's
disease, Alzheimer's, stroke and anxiety.
Epilepsy is a
neurological disorder that occurs due to an abnormality in brain wiring,
causing seizures. In epilepsy, the disruption of the normal electrochemical
activity of the brain causes strange sensations, emotions, muscle spasms,
behavior, convulsions and loss of consciousness.
epilepsy are prescribed different combinations of anti-seizure medications to
decrease the frequency and intensity of seizures. Around 70% of patients with
seizures can be controlled using anti-epileptic medications.
Some of the
commonly used drugs for epilepsy include:
caused by anti-seizure medications can be mild to severe. Some of
the mild side effects of anti-seizure medications are dizziness, fatigue,
blurred vision, nausea, skin rashes, memory, and thinking problem.
side effects include inflammation of the liver and other organs, depression
and suicidal thoughts
about 50 million people live with
- About 2.4 million people are
diagnosed with epilepsy each year
- Epilepsy can affect people of all
- Eighty percent of the people with
epilepsy live in low-and-middle-income countries
- Idiopathic epilepsy is the most
common type of epilepsy which affects 6 out of 10 people with the disorder
- Epilepsy - (https:medlineplus.gov/epilepsy.html)
- Guide To Medications For Seizures - (https:www.epilepsy.org.au/sites/default/files/Seizure%20Smart%20-%20Guide%20to%20Medications%20for%20Seizures.pdf)