Genetic analysis is providing new information on the biological basis of epilepsy at a rapid pace; this article identifies factors acting as major barriers to use of these data for therapy development. Disease heterogeneity is a primary obstacle since so many genes can cause or predispose to epilepsy and the clinical presentation of epilepsy is so diverse, thus making it difficult to define the most therapeutically relevant targets. Further, many epilepsy genes affect brain development, an observation that represents a barrier unto itself given the challenge of reversing or preventing genetically mediated alterations of brain pathway formation. Finally, the lack of appropriate models for testing new therapies is also recognized as a fundamental limitation. Overcoming these barriers will be aided by full characterization of the genetic landscape of epilepsy, elucidation of key pathway points for therapeutic intervention and creation of unique experimental models to validate results.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Pharmacology (medical)