New Horizons in the development of antiepileptic drugs: Innovative strategies

Epilepsy Res. 2006 Jun;69(3):183-272. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2006.03.014.


The past decades have brought many advances to the treatment of epilepsy. However, despite the continued development and release of new antiepileptic drugs, many patients have seizures that do not respond to drug therapy or have related side effects that preclude continued use. Even in patients in whom pharmacotherapy is efficacious, current antiepileptic drugs do not seem to affect the progression or the underlying natural history of epilepsy. Furthermore, there is currently no drug available which prevents the development of epilepsy, e.g. after head trauma or stroke. Thus, there are at least four important goals for the future: (1) development of better antiepileptic ("anti-ictal") drugs with higher efficacy and tolerability to stop seizures compared to current medications; (2) better understanding of processes leading to epilepsy, thus allowing to create therapies aimed at the prevention of epilepsy in patients at risk; (3) development of disease-modifying therapies, interfering with progression of epilepsy, and (4) improved understanding of neurobiological mechanisms of pharmacoresistance, allowing to develop drugs for reversal or prevention of drug resistance. The third Workshop on New Horizons in the Development of Antiepileptic Drugs explored these four goals for improved epilepsy therapy, with a focus on innovative strategies in the search for better anti-ictal drugs, for novel drugs for prevention of epilepsy or its progression, and for drugs overcoming drug resistance in epilepsy. In this conference review, the current status of antiepileptic therapies under development is critically assessed, and innovative approaches for future therapies are highlighted.

Publication types

  • Congress

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacology
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Drugs, Investigational
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Humans


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Drugs, Investigational