Until recently, epilepsy medical therapy is usually limited to anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). However, approximately 1/3 of epilepsy patients, described as drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) patients, still suffer from continuous frequent seizures despite receiving adequate AEDs treatment of sufficient duration. More recently, with the remarkable progress of immunology, immunity and inflammation are considered to be key elements of the pathobiology of epilepsy. Activation of inflammatory processes in brain tissue has been observed in both experimental seizure animal models and epilepsy patients. Anti-inflammatory and immunotherapies also showed significant anticonvulsant properties both in clinical and in experimental settings. The above emerging evidence indicates that modulation of immunity and inflammatory processes could serve as novel specific targets to achieve potential anticonvulsant effects for the patients with epilepsy, especially DRE. Herein we review the recent evidence supporting the role of inflammation in the development and perpetuation of seizures, and also discuss the recent achievements in modulation of inflammation and immunotherapy applied to the treatment of epilepsy. Apart from medical therapy, we also discuss the influences of surgery, ketogenic diet, and electroconvulsive therapy on immunity and inflammation in DRE patients. Taken together, a promising perspective is suggested for future immunomodulatory therapies in the treatment of patients with DRE.
Keywords: Auto-antibodies; Cytokines.; Drug-Resistant Epilepsy; Immunity; Inflammation.