Anti-epileptic therapy and taurine

Interestingly, the therapeutic effect of Iamotrigine is different from that of other anti-epileptic drugs that act on sodium channels., such as phenytoin and carbamazepine. For instance, Iamotrigine is effective in the treatment of childhood absence epilepsy. Moreover, it is suggested that administration of Iamotrigine, at a dosage of up to 100mg/kg, is effective in elevating cerbral taurine levels. Taurine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, its main role being to help treat epilepsy and additional excitable brain states. Research shows that low taurine levels at seizure sites and its anti-convulsant effect comes from its ability to stabilise nerve cell membranes, which in turn prevents the erratic firing of nerve cells. In a 2001 study, researchers from the Neurological Department of Defence Research in Norway, wished to determine the effect of Iamotrigine therapy on cerebral amino acid metabolism i.e. taurine (Hassel, Tauboll & Gjerstad, 2001). This study showed that chronic lamotrigine treatment at doses up to 100mg/Kg of body weight causes a region specific increase in taurine levels. However, taurine administered at a dosage of 500mg three times daily may ellicit a similar response.

Hassel, B., Tauboll, E. & Gjerstad, L. 2001. Chronic Iamotrigine treatment increases rat hippocampal GABA shunt activity and elevates cerebral taurine levels. Epilepsy Research, 43, 153-163.

1 Response

  1. Jason

    There is now also substantial evidence showing that a ketogenic diet (high fat, low carb, adequate protein) has very positive effects on “refractory” epilepsy in children and adults. This is quite interesting I think a good example of how important diet and nutrition can be.

    Caraballo, R et al. 2011. Long-Term follow up of the ketogenic diet for refractory epilepsy: Multicenter Argentinean experience in 216 pediatric patients. Seizure. Epub ahead of print

    Klein, P., Janousek, J., Barber, A., & Weissberger, R. 2010. Ketogenic diet treatment in adults with refractory epilepsy. Epilepsy & Behaviour, 19, 575-579

    Kossoff, E. 2004. More fat and fewer seizures: dietary therapies for epilepsy. Lancet Neurology, 3, 415-420

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