Prevention of Post-Traumatic Epilepsy with FDA-Approved Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
The mechanisms that lead to the onset of epilepsy after head injury in humans are not known, but mounting evidence points to inflammation as a major contributor. We recently discovered that mild cooling of the injured brain, a treatment that dampens inflammation, potently prevents epileptic seizures after a realistic contusive head injury in the rat. There are numerous FDA-approved anti-inflammatory drugs which target a wide range of inflammatory mechanisms that, alone or in combination, could reproduce the potent antiepileptogenic effect of mild cooling. These drugs are safe and have been approved for various conditions, and could quickly enter clinical trials for the prevention of posttraumatic epilepsy, but no data are yet available to determine whether they are antiepileptogenic after head injury. We will test these drugs in formal blind and randomized studies to determine their antiepileptogenic potential and route them to phase III clinical trials.