Potential EEG biomarkers and antiepileptogenic strategies for epilepsy in TSC Current therapeutic approaches for epilepsy primarily represent symptomatic treatments that suppress seizures, but have not been demonstrated to prevent epilepsy or modify disease progression. In recent years, there has been tremendous interest in developing disease-modifying or "antiepileptogenic" therapies. Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) is a common genetic cause of epilepsy and a subset of TSC patients may represent a rational, feasible population to target an antiepileptogenic treatment approach. First of all, some patients are diagnosed with TSC at a young age before the onset of epilepsy due to the presence of non-neurological findings: The presence of these findings makes it feasible to identify these patients and initiate a potential antiepileptogenic treatment at an early stage of epileptogenesis. Second, these patients are at high risk for developing epilepsy in the future. Because of these factors initiating a therapy with potential side effects in a presymptomatic stage can likely be justified in TSC patients. Finally, the identification of the mTOR pathway in the pathophysiology of TSC suggests that mTOR inhibitors could have antiepileptogenic properties in TSC but there may be significant risks and side effects. Therefore, before initiating an antiepileptogenic drug trial in TSC patients, it would be beneficial to obtain further evidence to optimize the selection criteria and treatment paradigms to maximize efficacy and minimize side effects of mTOR inhibitors, as well as establish a network of preclinical and clinical sites. n this P20 grant application we propose to conduct pre-clinical and clinical studies that establish optimal parameters for a potential antiepileptogenic drug trial. The preclinical core will aim to determine the optimal rapamycin treatment paradigms that maintain antiepileptogenic efficacy but minimize risks of side effects. The clinical core aims to determine whether EEGs during infancy are a reliable biomarker to identify TSC patients that will develop epilepsy and thus appropriate candidates for an antiepileptogenic drug trial. We will also establish the infrastructure for a TSC Epilepsy Center Without Walls, which will facilitate such clinical trials.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZNS1-SRB-B (33))
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Fureman, Brandy E
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University of Alabama Birmingham
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Wong, Michael (2013) A critical review of mTOR inhibitors and epilepsy: from basic science to clinical trials. Expert Rev Neurother 13:657-69
Zhang, Bo; McDaniel, Sharon S; Rensing, Nicholas R et al. (2013) Vigabatrin inhibits seizures and mTOR pathway activation in a mouse model of tuberous sclerosis complex. PLoS One 8:e57445