Empowering Patient Voice in Epilepsy Treatment and Strategies for Seizure Freedom: Patrick Kwan, MD, PhD, FRCP

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The professor of neurology in the department of neuroscience at Monash University discussed implementation strategies for treatment approaches to achieve seizure freedom in patients with epilepsy. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

"Seizure freedom consistently improves the patient's quality of life, reduces comorbidities, or even mortality. Patients tell us that achieving seizure freedom is crucial. For those newly diagnosed, uncertainties about achieving seizure freedom create a sense of vulnerability, putting life on hold for both the patient and their families."

Epilepsy encompasses a wide variety of medical conditions that are characterized by recurrent seizures. In epilepsy care, achieving seizure freedom is the primary objective, which is endorsed by patients, families, and even treatment guidelines because of its substantial enhancement of quality of life.1 Managing epilepsy though poses several challenges because of the multitude of syndromes, seizure types, and individual responses to therapies. Despite the present challenges, recent strides in genetic testing offer updated strategies for diagnosing specific epileptic disorders and tailoring treatments.2 Looking ahead, the trajectory of epilepsy treatment suggests a shift from the current empirical approach to precision medicine, like therapies for drug-resistant epilepsy, potentially transforming the landscape of care.

At the 2023 American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting, held December 1-5, in Orlando, Florida, SK Life Science hosted a symposium titled “Impact of Continued Seizures and Strategies for Seizure Reduction/Freedom” led by experts in epilepsy.3 The symposium discusses currently available strategies for reducing and achieving seizure freedom, and the need to better understand patient unmet needs for achieving seizure freedom and the impact of continued seizures. Additionally in the symposium, experts spoke on evidence-based treatment adjustments before patients consider surgery, and the various treatment options available to support patients in their epilepsy journey.

Prior to the symposium, one of the speakers Patrick Kwan, MD, PhD, FRCP, professor of neurology, department of neuroscience, Monash University, had a brief conversation with NeurologyLive® to provide an overview of the main points he planned to speak on in the presentation. He talked about how medication management strategies contribute to achieving seizure freedom for patients with epilepsy. Kwan also talked about the key challenges faced by patients with epilepsy, especially those newly diagnosed, because of uncertainties about achieving seizure freedom. In addition, he explained how artificial intelligence is being utilized to personalize epilepsy treatments, and the role individual characteristics and innovative approaches like stem cell use play in this process.

Click here for more coverage of AES 2023.

REFERENCES
1. Striano P, Minassian BA. From Genetic Testing to Precision Medicine in Epilepsy. Neurotherapeutics. 2020;17(2):609-615. doi:10.1007/s13311-020-00835-4
2. Halford JJ, Edwards JC. Seizure freedom as an outcome in epilepsy treatment clinical trials. Acta Neurol Scand. 2020;142(2):91-107. doi:10.1111/ane.13257
3. SK Life Science to Host Symposium and Present New Data at the American Epilepsy Society (AES) 2023 Annual Meeting. News Release. SK Life Science. Published November 28, 2023. Accessed November 30, 2023. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sk-life-science-to-host-symposium-and-present-new-data-at-the-american-epilepsy-society-aes-2023-annual-meeting-301998374.html
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