Refractory epilepsy: mechanisms and solutions

Expert Rev Neurother. 2006 Mar;6(3):397-406. doi: 10.1586/14737175.6.3.397.


Pharmacoresistance remains a major challenge in epilepsy management. The availability of ten new antiepileptic drugs since the late 1980s has not dramatically improved the outcome of refractory epilepsy. This article provides an overview of the contemporary understanding of epilepsy and the limitation of current treatment modalities, discusses putative biological mechanisms of medical intractability and reviews some of the novel strategies under investigation to overcome the challenge of pharmacoresistance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy / genetics
  • Epilepsy / metabolism*
  • Epilepsy / therapy*
  • Genetic Therapy / methods
  • Humans


  • Anticonvulsants