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New Antiepileptic Drugs: Molecular Targets

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In the past 20 years, a number of new antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) have been introduced and other molecules are in development, some of which are advantageous in terms of pharmacokinetics, tolerability and potential for drug interactions. These drugs are regarded as second generation compared to older agents such as barbiturates, phenytoin, carbamazepine, ethosuximide and valproic acid. Although some of these second generation compounds may be advantageous in terms of kinetics, tolerability and potential for drug interactions, all of them still target voltage-gated channels or GABA-mediated inhibition, predominantly, without any real improvement in epilepsy therapy.

Studies on mechanisms of seizure generation and propagation have identified new potential targets for AEDs. The growing understanding of the pathophysiology of epilepsy and the structural and functional characterization of the molecular targets provide many opportunities to create improved epilepsy therapies.

In this review the molecular targets for new AEDs are discussed, providing further suggestions on how future research can be improved.

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Keywords: Epilepsy; GABA; antiepileptic drugs; channels; glutamate

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Central Nervous System Agents in Medicinal Chemistry aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design for the discovery of new central nervous system agents. Each issue of the journal will contain a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics in central nervous system medicinal chemistry.

    Central Nervous System Agents in Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments in central nervous system drug discovery.
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