Please note that Epilepsy Research UK does not endorse/promote individual epilepsy treatments or pharmaceutical companies.The antiepileptic drug (AED) everolimus significantly reduces seizure frequency in people with drug-resistant epilepsy and tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), according to a study published in the leading medical journal The Lancet.The phase three clinical trial was conducted by a team of researchers led by Dr David Franz, from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and funded by Novartis, the manufacturer of the drug.A total of 336 people with TSC and epilepsy, aged between two and 65 years, were recruited from 25 different countries. Almost half of the participants had failed to respond to six or more AEDs.The participants were randomly divided into three groups and received either a low dose of everolimus, a high dose of everolimus or an identical-looking placebo.The results showed that in people who received a low dose of the drug, seizure frequency was reduced by more than 29%. This figure was nearly 40% in the high-dose group.Adverse side effects such as inflammation of the mouth and lips, diarrhoea, common cold, fever and upper respiratory tract infection occurred in 3% of subjects who received placebo and 14% of those who received a low dose or high dose of everolimus. Dr Franz notes that these figures are consistent with findings from previous everolimus trials.TSC is a genetic disease that causes malformations and tumours in the brain and other organs. It is estimated to affect approximately one million people around the world.Everolimus is a derivative of the drug sirolimus and works in a similar way by inhibiting a signalling complex called ‘mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1’ (mTORC1). There is evidence that this signalling pathway plays a role in both acquired forms of epilepsy and TSC.Author: Dr Özge ÖzkayaClick here to read about an ERUK-funded pilot study into TSC, led by Professor Alexander Hammers, at King’s College London.Click here for more articles about other treatments for epilepsy.
September 8th, 2016|