Traditional antiepileptic drug development approaches have yielded many important clinically valuable anti-epileptic drugs. However, the screening of promising compounds has been naturally agnostic to epilepsy etiology in individual human patients. Now, genomic medicine is changing the way we view human disease. International collaborations are unraveling the many molecular genetic causes of the epilepsies, including the early onset epileptic encephalopathies, and some of the familial focal epilepsies. Further advances in precision diagnostics will be facilitated by ongoing large collaborations and the wider availability of whole exome and whole genome sequencing in clinical practice. Securing a precise molecular diagnosis in some individual patients will pave the way for the advent of precision therapeutics of new and re-purposed compounds in the treatment of the epilepsies. This new approach is already beginning, e.g., with the use of everolimus in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (and perhaps other mTORopathies), the use of quinidine in some children with KCNT1 mutations, and the use of the ketogenic diet in individuals with GLUT-1 deficiency. This article explores the promise of genomics guided drug development as an approach to complement the more traditional model.
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland ->