Any Treatment Development is Most Welcome

Any Treatment Development is Most Welcome

It’s really great to see that two treatments are being developed separately that may be beneficial in the fight against some types of epilepsy that are resistant to other therapies. Both have been reported in Epilepsy News Today.

One is a MRI-guided laser ablation technology called Visualase that is being tested by physicians at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where they recently performed the first-ever procedure to test it as an effective way to treat the drug-resistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE).

Medtronic, which developed Visualase, said it was part of a clinical trial called SLATE (Stereotactic Laser Ablation for Temporal Lobe Epilepsy).

The other encouraging news is the development of Belviq (lorcaserin) that may become a promising anti-epileptic drug for patients resistant to other therapies, according to a new study.

The study, “Clemizole and Modulators of Serotonin Signaling Suppress Seizures in Dravet Syndrome,” appeared in the journal Brain. It was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a unit of the National Institutes of Health.

A genetic mutation in the SCN1A gene causes Dravet syndrome, a serious form of epilepsy that is said to be linked to frequent daily seizures, resistance to treatment, delayed language and motor development, sleep disturbances and severe cognitive deficit.

I am fortunate that I don’t have MTLE or Dravet syndrome, but I do have epilepsy and have had it for 45 years. So, believe me when I say it is so good to see potential new therapies being developed for any form of the condition.

Of course, it is all far away, as there are exhaustive and sizable clinical trials to go through before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any other licensing authority around the world will be prepared to approve either of them for medical use.

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[You are invited to visit my personal MS, Health & Disability website at 50shadesofsun.com].

Note: Epilepsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Epilepsy News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to epilepsy.

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Ian Franks is our Chief Columnist and Patient Specialist. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media; during which he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. He was diagnosed with Epilepsy in 1972 and MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain and uses his skills to write his own flourishing specialist Health & Disability website at www.50shadesofsun.com. Besides Epilepsy and MS, Ian is also able to write about cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.

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