The interim chief of pediatric neurology at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health discussed progress in preventing seizures among patients with epilepsy, the potential for gene-targeted therapies, and the importance of localizing where seizures are coming from. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]
WATCH TIME: 4 minutes
"The toolbox is quite full, so a lot of the research has been aimed at better understanding how epilepsy occurs and what drives that. A lot of that is currently is focused in the genetic area, where a tremendous amount of progress has been in the diagnosis of genetic epilepsies."
The care paradigm for patients with epilepsy has advanced significantly over the years, led by an expansion in the number of antiseizure medications (ASMs) and an increased awareness towards lifestyle modifications. Treating seizures requires a balanced approach of both pharmacological and nonpharmacological choices to truly make a difference. In some cases, despite numerous treatment attempts, a patient may still experience significant seizure activity.
In the past decade, the treatment standards for epilepsy have been raised. Nowadays, clinical trials assessing potential agents have begun to incorporate seizure reduction rate goals of 75% and 100%, rather than the traditional 50%, in an effort to demonstrate a next level of seizure control. Additionally, research has uncovered several prevention tactics to lower seizure rates, such as avoiding alcohol consumption, stress management, maintaining sleep, and eating meals at consistent times. Adherence to a treatment regimen has also been shown to have an impact on the frequency of seizures.
As more has been uncovered about the origins of epilepsy, the conversation has shifted to not just treating seizures, but preventing the disorder itself. To learn more about the recent progress in this field and how its changing care, NeurologyLive® sat down with William Gallentine, DO, interim chief of pediatric neurology at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health. Gallentine discussed how research in genetic epilepsies and understanding the root cause of seizures has propelled the field forward and changed the quality of life for patients with these disorders. Furthermore, he spoke on the potential of gene therapy and the steps needed to take before therapies are available to potential patients.