What causes drug-resistant epilepsy?

One third of people with epilepsy continue to experience seizures despite treatment with anti-epileptic drugs. One possible explanation for this is an increase in the number of drug pumps (or transporters) in the blood vessels which supply the brain. These transporters help nutrients get into the brain and keep poisons out. However, they might also stop anti-epileptic drugs getting into the brain and therefore make the drugs less effective.

In this research Dr Graeme Sills and colleagues at the University of Liverpool are seeking to identify the pumps that are important for transporting of anti-epileptic drugs into and out of the brain, and to determine whether blocking these drug pumps improves the ability of anti-epileptic drugs to get into the brain and prevent seizures. If successful, it may be possible to design a new type of drug that changes the effect of transporters and increases the amount of antiepileptic drugs that get into the brain.

Read more about this research into the causes of drug resistant epilepsy here.

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