ICE/caspase 1 inhibitors and IL-1β receptor antagonists as potential therapeutics in epilepsy

Annamaria Vezzani, Silvia Balosso, Mattia Maroso, Daniela Zardoni, Francesco Noé, Teresa Ravizza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Epilepsy is a disabling neurological disorder that is characterized by recurring, unprovoked seizures. Drug-resistant epilepsy affects approximately 30% of individuals with epilepsy; thus, one of the main challenges for epilepsy therapy is the development of alternative anticonvulsant approaches. The discovery that inflammatory mediators contribute significantly to the onset and recurrence of seizures in experimental models, as well as the presence of inflammatory molecules in human epileptogenic tissue, highlight the possibility of targeting specific inflammation-related pathways to control seizures that are otherwise resistant to the available anti-epileptic drugs. This review summarizes the proof-of-principle evidence, obtained in experimental disease models, demonstrating the anticonvulsant activity of specific anti-inflammatory drugs, such as inhibitors of IL-1-converting enzyme/caspase 1 and antagonists of IL-1β receptors. Drugs that block IL-1β actions have entered clinical trials as potential therapeutics for autoimmune and inflammatory pathologies, and may also have therapeutic potential in epilepsies associated with proinflammatory processes in the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Investigational Drugs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • Anticonvulsant
  • Epilepsy
  • IL-1-converting enzyme/caspase 1
  • IL-1b receptor
  • Inflammation
  • Pharmacoresistance
  • Seizure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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