Epilepsy biomarkers

Epilepsia. 2013 Aug;54 Suppl 4(0 4):61-9. doi: 10.1111/epi.12299.


A biomarker is defined as an objectively measured characteristic of a normal or pathologic biologic process. Identification and proper validation of biomarkers of epileptogenesis (the development of epilepsy) and ictogenesis (the propensity to generate spontaneous seizures) might predict the development of an epilepsy condition; identify the presence and severity of tissue capable of generating spontaneous seizures; measure progression after the condition is established; and determine pharmacoresistance. Such biomarkers could be used to create animal models for more cost-effective screening of potential antiepileptogenic and antiseizure drugs and devices, and to reduce the cost of clinical trials by enriching the trial population, and acting as surrogate markers to shorten trial duration. The objectives of the biomarker subgroup for the London Workshop were to define approaches for identifying possible biomarkers for these purposes. Research to identify reliable biomarkers may also reveal underlying mechanisms that could serve as therapeutic targets for the development of new antiepileptogenic and antiseizure compounds.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Epileptogenesis; Ictogenesis; Surrogate markers; Therapeutic intervention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects
  • Anticonvulsants / economics
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / economics
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Drug Discovery*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / economics
  • Drug Resistance
  • Drugs, Investigational / adverse effects
  • Drugs, Investigational / economics
  • Drugs, Investigational / therapeutic use*
  • Electroencephalography / drug effects
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Epilepsy / etiology
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Epilepsy / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Precipitating Factors


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Biomarkers
  • Drugs, Investigational