On June 22, 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an expanded indication for perampanel hydrate (Fycompa; Eisai), an oral antiepileptic drug. This new indication allows the use of perampanel hydrate as an adjunctive treatment for primary generalized tonic-clonic (PGTC) seizures in patients with epilepsy aged ≥12 years. The FDA approval was based on new data from a phase 3 clinical trial showing a significant reduction in the frequency of PGTC seizures and freedom from seizures with perampanel hydrate versus placebo.
In response to the growing reports of neurologic disorders related to the Zika virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and launched an effort to accelerate research on the links between the Zika virus and neurologic disorders, namely, microcephaly and the Guillain-Barré syndrome.
A team of neurologists and population health scientists from New York University (NYU) has issued a call to action to reduce deaths from epilepsy. They call for educational interventions and public health campaigns targeting medication adherence, psychiatric comorbidity, and other modifiable risk factors.
A recent study shows that 80% of multiplex families with epilepsy could be successfully classified into clinical syndromes using molecular genetics. Understanding the genetic component of epilepsy could strengthen genetic counseling and provide opportunity for improved intervention.
Analysis of clinical trials and a retrospective analysis of insurance claims data related to patients with epilepsy using eslicarbaz­epine acetate (Aptiom) were presented at the 2015 American Epilepsy Society annual meeting. The analysis demonstrated that eslicarbazepine acetate imparts quality-of-life benefits, improves depression, and reduces hospitalizations in patients with partial-onset seizures.
In February 2016, the FDA published a special report in the New England Journal of Medicine, alerting the medical community, including providers, policymakers, and drug manufacturers about “the growing epidemic of opioid abuse, addiction, and overdose—an epidemic directly related to the increasingly widespread use of powerful opioid pain medications”.
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