Primary prevention of epilepsy in patients with different epileptogenic conditions

Ettore Beghi, Massimiliano Beghi, Cesare Cornaggia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Epileptic seizures are a common complication of several clinical conditions affecting the CNS. In these cases, the occurrence of seizures and epilepsy may increase the functional damage provoked by the underlying epileptogenic condition and affect the patient's quality of life to a significant extent. Therefore, the search of effective means for primary prevention of seizures and epilepsy is necessary in these cases. However, the use of antiepileptic drugs for the primary prevention of seizures and epilepsy can be considered only if the ratio between efficacy, safety and tolerability of treatment is favorable, in that the advantages, in terms of seizure prevention, outweigh the disadvantages in terms of adverse effects and overall costs of treatment. In this article, the efficacy, safety and tolerability of antiepileptic drugs for the primary prevention of seizures and epilepsy are reviewed. The areas covered include: the definition of early (provoked) and late (unprovoked) seizures; knowledge of the overall risk of seizures and epilepsy in CNS disorders for which primary prevention of seizures can be attempted; rationale for the use of antiepileptic drugs for the primary prevention of epilepsy; experimental data on the antiepileptogenic properties of antiepileptic drugs; available literature findings on the prevention of early and late seizures, with specific emphasis on randomized clinical trials; and the main problems with experimental trials for the primary prevention of epileptic seizures. On this basis, practice recommendations for the primary prevention of epilepsy will be offered where indicated. Suggestions for future research are also made as concluding remarks, by indicating the areas of investigation and the design of future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)945-952
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Review of Neurotherapeutics
Volume4
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004

Keywords

  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • CNS injuries
  • Epilepsy
  • Epileptogenesis
  • Prevention
  • Seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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