Neurodegenerative pathways as targets for acquired epilepsy therapy development

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There is a growing body of clinical and experimental evidence that neurodegenerative diseases and epileptogenesis after an acquired brain insult may share common etiological mechanisms. Acquired epilepsy commonly develops as a comorbid condition in patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, although it is likely much under diagnosed in practice. Progressive neurodegeneration has also been described after traumatic brain injury, stroke, and other forms of brain insults. Moreover, recent evidence has shown that acquired epilepsy is often a progressive disorder that is associated with the development of drug resistance, cognitive decline, and worsening of other neuropsychiatric comorbidities. Therefore, new pharmacological therapies that target neurobiological pathways that underpin neurodegenerative diseases have potential to have both an anti-epileptogenic and disease-modifying effect on the seizures in patients with acquired epilepsy, and also mitigate the progressive neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric comorbidities. Here, we review the neurodegenerative pathways that are plausible targets for the development of novel therapies that could prevent the development or modify the progression of acquired epilepsy, and the supporting published experimental and clinical evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-154
Number of pages17
JournalEpilepsia Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • AMPA
  • amyloid-β
  • glutamate
  • mTOR
  • neuroinflammation
  • tau

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