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Molecular mechanisms of antiepileptic drugs

Massimo Avoli
From: Science & Medicine: Volume 4 Number 4: Page 54 (August 1997)

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Abstract: Sustained, repetitive, synchronous firing of action potentials generated by large numbers of neurons causes an epileptic seizure. Genesis of seizures is, moreover, an activity-dependant neuronal process: areas of the brain undergo an enduring alteration of excitability that results in an increased likelihood of generating epileptic discharges. Possible targets for antiepileptic drugs are potentiation of GABA-mediated inhibitory mechanisms, inhibition of excitatory (particularly NMDA) receptor acivity, and control of sodium and calcium channels. The process of developing new anticonvulsants based on these objectives has clarified the mechanisms of action of some older drugs as will.

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