Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Symposium 15

An adult neurologist's update on epilepsy therapy

Hiroshi Shigeto, M.D., Ph.D.

Department of Neurology, Neurological Institute, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University

Adult neurologists routinely encounter cases of epilepsy. Appropriate therapy based on a correct diagnosis is very important, and is aided by knowledge of seizure semiology and the correct reading of EEG findings. Many factors need to be considered when deciding upon a treatment regime for adult epilepsy patients, such as employment, marriage, child bearing status, and co-existent disease in elderly patients. Four new antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), which have been used in other countries for more than 10 years, have been authorized for use over the past few years in Japan. Because new AEDs also have interactions and side effects, administration to patients must be carried out based on an understanding of drug actions and interaction mechanisms. Surgical treatment should be considered for drug resistant patients, especially for those suffering from temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis. For drug resistant patients who are not candidates for resection therapy, we can undertake vagus nerve stimulation therapy, which has recently been authorized for use in Japan. Other electrical stimulation therapies, targeting the anterior nucleus of thalamus, hippocampus and epileptic neo-cortex, have been investigated and are now under study in the USA. Neurologists should be aware of such newly introduced therapies in giving a better quality of life for epilepsy patients.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (220K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 51: 997|999, 2011)
key words: new antiepileptic drug, vagus nerve stimulation, epilepsy surgery, women, elderly

(Received: 19-May-11)