The promise of gene therapy for the treatment of epilepsy

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Gene therapy involves the transfer and expression of a therapeutic gene into a target tissue, and essentially represents an intervention that alters the instruction set of a cell having a dominant effect on the cell phenotype. Gene therapy techniques may provide a realistic therapeutic option for CNS disorders that are difficult to treat with conventional drugs, such as for drug-resistant focal epilepsies. Preclinical studies using a selection of 'therapeutic' genes delivered into the rodent brain showed significant reduction of seizures and inhibition of epileptogenesis, thus establishing the proof-of-principle evidence of the potential applicability of this technology to human epilepsy. The promising potential of gene therapy for the treatment of CNS pathologies still requires further investigation to improve the efficacy and the safety of this approach using clinically relevant experimental models. The recent advances in refining gene therapy tools and in methods of gene delivery make this innovative approach a definite possibility for therapeutic intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1685-1692
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Review of Neurotherapeutics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


  • Animal models of seizures
  • Anticonvulsant
  • Cell transplantation
  • Epileptogenesis
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Viral vectors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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