Pharmacological and therapeutic approaches in the treatment of epilepsy

Shampa Ghosh, Jitendra Kumar Sinha, Tarab Khan, Kuramkote Shivanna Devaraju, Prabhakar Singh, Kumar Vaibhav, Pankaj Gaur

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Epilepsy affects around 50 million people across the globe and is the third most common chronic brain disorder. It is a non-communicable disease of the brain that affects people of all ages. It is accompanied by depression, anxiety, and substantially increased morbidity and mortality. A large number of third-generation anti-epileptic drugs are available, but they have multiple side-effects causing a decline in the quality of life. The inheritance and etiology of epilepsy are complex with multiple underlying genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. Different neurotransmitters play intricate functions to maintain the normal physiology of various neurons. If there is any dysregulation of neurotransmission due to aberrant transmitter levels or their receptor biology, it can result in seizures. In this review, we have discussed the roles played by various neurotransmitters and their receptors in the pathophysiology of epilepsy. Drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) has remained one of the forefront areas of epilepsy research for a long time. Understanding the mechanisms underlying DRE is of utmost importance because of its high incidence rate among epilepsy patients and increased risks of psychosocial problems and premature death. Here we have enumerated various hypotheses of DRE. Further, we have discussed different non-conventional therapeutic strategies, including combination therapy and non-drug treatment. The recent studies supporting the modern approaches for the treatment of epilepsy have been deliberated with particular reference to the mTOR pathway, breakdown of the blood-brain barrier, and inflammatory pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number470
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-convulsants
  • Anti-epileptic drugs
  • Drug targets
  • Epileptogenesis
  • Non-communicable disease
  • Pseudo-resistance
  • Seizures
  • Transcriptional modifications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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