2008 issue 1

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Volume 17, issue 1

Review article

Mechanism of action of new antiepileptic drugs

Alicja Sobolewska1, Janusz Szyndler2, Danuta Turzyńska1, Adam Płaźnik1,2
1. Zakład Neurochemii Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii w Warszawie
2. Katedra i Zakład Farmakologii Doświadczalnej i Klinicznej w Warszawie
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2008; 17 (1): 53-60
Keywords: epilepsy, antiepileptic drugs, mechanism of action

Abstract

Objective. The paper describes mechanism of action of new antiepileptic drugs.
Background. Epilepsy is a frequent disorder that affects about 1%% of the general population. At present seizures and epilepsy are assumed to result from an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory systems in the CNS. A number of systems are involved in the maintenance of homeostasis: the GABA-ergic system, glutamatergic system, monoamines, neurotrophins, neuropeptides. Currently used antiepileptic drugs may cause many side effects and have no therapeutic effects in up to 25% of patients. That is why new antiepileptic drugs - more effective and with a better tolerance profile - are sought for.
Conclusions. Epilepsy treatment is based on pharmacological therapy. Antiepileptic drugs vary in their mechanism of action. Compo.u.n.ds blocking sodium and calcium channels and enhancing GABA-ergic neurotransmission seem to be the most promising candidates.

Address for correspondence:
Prof. Adam Płaźnik
Zakład Neurochemii, Instytut Psychiatrii i Neurologii
ul. Sobieskiego 9, 02-957 Warszawa
e-mail: adaplaz@yahoo.com