[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The beneficial effects of chronic and early pharmacological treatment with ethosuximide on epileptogenesis were studied in a genetic absence epilepsy model comorbid for depression. It was also investigated whether there is a critical treatment period and treatment length. Cortical excitability in the form of electrical evoked potentials, thalamo-cortical network activity (spike-wave discharges and afterdischarges), but also white matter changes representing extra cortico-thalamic functions and depressive-like behavior were investigated. WAG/Rij rats received either ethosuximide for 2months (post natal months 2-3 or 4-5), ethosuximide for 4months (2-5) in their drinking water, control rats drank plain water. EEG measurements were made during treatment, and 6days and 2months post treatment. Behavioral test were also done 6days post treatment. DTI was performed ex vivo post treatment. Spike-wave discharges were suppressed during treatment, and 6days and 2months post treatment in the 4months treated group, as well as the duration of AD elicited by cortical electrical stimulation 6days post treatment. Increased fractional anisotropy in corpus callosum and internal capsula on DTI was found, an increased P8 evoked potential amplitude and a decreased immobility in the forced swim test. Shorter treatments with ETX had no large effects on any parameter. Chronic ETX has widespread effects within but also outside the circuitry in which SWD are initiated and generated, including preventing epileptogenesis and reducing depressive-like symptoms. Treatment of patients before symptom onset might prevent many of the adverse consequences of chronic epilepsy.
Neurobiology of Disease 08/2013; 60. DOI:10.1016/j.nbd.2013.08.013 · 5.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little is known about pregnancy-induced alterations in the pharmacokinetics of the newer antiepileptic drugs, especially when used in combinations. Two women receiving combination therapy of lamotrigine (LTG) and oxcarbazepine (OXC) were followed prospectively during pregnancy and puerperium. Steady-state concentrations of LTG and the active metabolite of OXC, 10-hydroxycarbazepine (MHD), were measured at regular intervals using a dried blood spot method, and clearances were calculated. A strong effect of pregnancy on the clearance of both LTG and MHD was seen. An increase in seizure frequency occurred in both women. This stresses the importance of therapeutic drug monitoring of LTG and MHD during pregnancy. In case of breakthrough seizures or increased seizure frequency, dosage adjustment of both drugs may be required.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Status epilepticus (SE) leads to upregulation of pro-inflammatory proteins including cyclooxygenase-2 (cox-2) which could be implicated in the epileptogenic process and epileptic seizures. Recent studies show that cox-2 can regulate expression of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) during epileptogenesis and epilepsy. P-gp could cause pharmacoresistance by reducing brain entry of anti-epileptic drugs such as phenytoin (PHT). Here we have investigated the effects of cox-2 inhibition on epileptogenesis, spontaneous seizures and PHT treatment in a rat model for temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE).
A 3-day treatment with the cox-2 inhibitor SC-58236 (SC) was started 1 day before electrically induced SE. Chronic epileptic rats were treated with SC for 14 days, which was followed by a 7-day period of SC/PHT combination treatment. Seizure activity was monitored continuously using electroencephalography.
SC treatment did not affect SE duration, but led to an increased number of rats that died during the first 2 weeks after SE. Cox-2 inhibition during the chronic period led to an increased number of seizures in the 2nd week of treatment in 50% of the rats. SC/PHT treatment reduced seizures significantly for only 2 days.
Both SC treatment that started before SE and the 14-day treatment in chronic epileptic rats led to adverse effects in the TLE rat model. Despite a temporal reduction in seizure frequency with SC/PHT treatment, SC does not seem to be a suitable approach for anti-epileptogenic or anti-epileptic therapy.
Epilepsy research 09/2010; 91(1):49-56. DOI:10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2010.06.011 · 2.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epileptic seizures drive expression of the blood–brain barrier efflux transporter P-glycoprotein via a glutamate/cyclooxygenase-2 mediated signalling pathway. Targeting this pathway may represent an innovative approach to control P-glycoprotein expression in the epileptic brain and to enhance brain delivery of antiepileptic drugs.Therefore, we tested the effect of specific cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition on P-glycoprotein expression in two different status epilepticus models. Moreover, the impact of a cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor on expression of the efflux transporter and on brain delivery of an antiepileptic drug was evaluated in rats with recurrent spontaneous seizures.The highly selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors SC-58236 and NS-398 both counteracted the status epilepticus-associated increase in P-glycoprotein expression in the parahippocampal cortex and the ventral hippocampus. In line with our working hypothesis, a sub-chronic 2-week treatment with SC-58236 in the chronic epileptic state kept P-glycoprotein expression at control levels. As described previously, enhanced P-glycoprotein expression in chronic epileptic rats was associated with a significant reduction in the brain penetration of the antiepileptic drug phenytoin. Importantly, the brain delivery of phenytoin was significantly enhanced by sub-chronic cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition in rats with recurrent seizures.In conclusion, the data substantiate targeting of cyclooxygenase-2 in the chronic epileptic brain as a promising strategy to control the expression levels of P-glycoprotein despite recurrent seizure activity. Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition may therefore help to increase concentrations of antiepileptic drugs at the target sites in the epileptic brain. It needs to be further evaluated whether the approach also enhances efficacy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several studies have indicated that psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) are associated with psychological trauma, but only a few studies have examined the associations with neurobiologic stress systems, such as the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and its end-product cortisol. We tested several relevant HPA-axis functions in patients with PNES and related them to trauma history.
Cortisol awakening curve, basal diurnal cortisol, and negative cortisol feedback (using a 1 mg dexamethasone suppression test) were examined in 18 patients with PNES and 19 matched healthy controls (HCs) using saliva cortisol sampling on two consecutive days at 19 time points. Concomitant sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity was assessed by analyzing saliva alpha-amylase (sAA).
Patients with PNES showed significantly increased basal diurnal cortisol levels compared to HCs. This effect was driven mainly by patients reporting sexual trauma who showed a trend toward higher cortisol levels as compared to patients without a sexual trauma report. Importantly, the increased basal diurnal cortisol levels in patients were not explained by depression, medication, or smoking, or by current seizures or group differences in SNS activity.
This is the first study showing that basal hypercortisolism in patients with PNES is independent of the acute occurrence of seizures. In addition, basal hypercortisolism was more pronounced in traumatized patients with PNES as compared to nontraumatized patients with PNES. These findings suggest that HPA-axis activity provides a significant neurobiologic marker for PNES.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We prospectively evaluated the fluctuation of lamotrigine (LTG) clearance during the menstrual cycle. We also assessed the effect of postmenopausal status and investigated in detail the effect of oral contraceptives (OCs) on LTG clearance.
Three groups of women with epilepsy using LTG monotherapy were evaluated. Women in the first group (n = 7) had a regular cycle and did not use OCs; the second group used a 1-phase combined OC (n = 7), and the third group (n = 7) was postmenopausal. Two menstrual cycles or at least 2 months (postmenopausal women) were assessed, monitoring LTG levels every other day.
The mean apparent LTG clearance in women of reproductive age not using OCs was 49 (SD 22.6, range 20.4-83.5) L/24 hours. No significant effect of endogenous hormones on LTG clearance was found. In women using OCs, the mean LTG clearance was 126 (SD 60.2, range 44.3-205) L/24 hours. There was an increase in LTG levels during the pill-free week, with maximum levels 54% (range 29%-129%) higher than baseline levels. LTG levels decreased to the baseline value within a mean of 8 days of starting OC use (SD 3.7, range 2.5-16.5). In the postmenopausal women, the mean clearance was 82 (SD 38.4, range 35.9-125) L/24 hours.
We observed a higher mean lamotrigine (LTG) clearance in postmenopausal women compared with young women not using oral contraceptives (OCs) and confirmed that OC use may have a strong effect on LTG clearance. There was no significant fluctuation of LTG clearance during the menstrual cycle.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rectal diazepam is established as a standard rescue or emergency treatment for seizure or status epilepticus; however, the rectal route of administration has not been universally accepted. To determine if an alternative route of administration of a benzodiazepine was equally effective, we compared a novel midazolam HCl concentrated nasal spray (MDZ-n) with diazepam rectal solution (DZP-r) in the treatment of prolonged seizures in a residential epilepsy center. In 21 adult patients with medically refractory epilepsy, 124 seizure-exacerbations were treated by their caregivers, alternatively with 10 mg DZP-r and 10 mg concentrated MDZ-n, two or three treatments with each medication for each patient. No difference was demonstrated in efficacy or time to effect between the two drugs. Common treatment emerging adverse effects were drowsiness for both drugs in more than 50% of the administrations, and short-lasting local irritation after 29% of MDZ-n. No severe adverse events occurred. The nasal spray was preferred to the rectal solution by 16 of 21 caregivers and patients conjointly. MDZ-n was equal to DZP-r with respect to efficacy and side effects in the suppression of seizure exacerbations. The majority of patients and caregivers preferred the nasal spray over the rectal formulation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tolerance to drug treatment is a serious problem in the treatment of epilepsy. We previously showed that tolerance to levetiracetam (LEV) developed within 4 days after the start of the treatment in a rat model for spontaneous seizures after electrically induced status epilepticus. In the current study we tested whether the development of tolerance to LEV could be prevented by alternating between LEV and valproate (VPA) treatment.
Before starting the alternating therapy with LEV and VPA (3 day LEV-3 day VPA, two cycles), we assessed the efficacy of VPA monotherapy by administering VPA to chronic epileptic rats via osmotic minipumps during 7 days. The anticonvulsive effects were determined by continuous video-EEG (electroencephalography) monitoring, and the concentration of VPA and LEV was measured in plasma using gas chromatography.
VPA significantly suppressed spontaneous seizures in chronic epileptic rats for 5 days. Hereafter, seizure frequency increased to pretreatment values despite adequate VPA blood levels. Seizure duration was reduced for 6 days during treatment. Seizure severity was reduced throughout the 7-day treatment period. Alternating treatment of LEV and VPA did not prevent development of tolerance; however, seizures were suppressed significantly longer compared to VPA and LEV monotherapy.
Because alternating treatment with LEV and VPA led to a prolonged effective seizure control in the animal model, it would be worthwhile to explore the possibilities of using an alternating treatment protocol in pharmacoresistant patients in whom an effective treatment is hampered by tolerance to antiepileptic drugs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) have long been considered as paroxysmal dissociative symptoms characterized by an alteration of attentional functions caused by severe stress or trauma. Although interpersonal trauma is common in PNES, the proposed relation between trauma and attentional functions remains under explored. We examined the attentional processing of social threat in PNES in relation to interpersonal trauma and acute psychological stress.
A masked emotional Stroop test, comparing color-naming latencies for backwardly masked angry, neutral, and happy faces, was administered to 19 unmedicated patients with PNES and 20 matched healthy controls, at baseline and in a stress condition. Stress was induced by means of the Trier Social Stress Test and physiologic stress parameters, such as heart rate variability (HRV) and cortisol, were measured throughout the experiment.
No group differences related to the acute stress induction were found. Compared to controls, however, patients displayed a positive attentional bias for masked angry faces at baseline, which was correlated to self-reported sexual trauma. Moreover, patients showed lower HRV at baseline and during recovery.
These findings are suggestive of a state of hypervigilance in patients with PNES. The relation with self-reported trauma, moreover, offers the first evidence linking psychological risk factors to altered information processing in PNES.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article reviews dried blood spot (DBS) sampling in therapeutic drug monitoring. The DBS method involves applying whole blood obtained via a fingerprick to a sampling paper. After drying and transportation, the blood spot is extracted and analyzed in the laboratory. Assays of many medicines in DBS have already been reported in the literature and are reviewed here. The technique involved in and factors that may influence the accuracy and reproducibility of DBS methods are also discussed. DBS sampling ultimately seems to be a useful technique for therapeutic drug monitoring that could have many advantages in comparison with conventional venous sampling. However, its benefits must be weighed against the degree of potential errors introduced via the sampling method; there is evidently a need for more standardization, quality assurance, basic research, and assay development.
Therapeutic drug monitoring 05/2009; 31(3):327-36. DOI:10.1097/FTD.0b013e31819e91ce · 1.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pharmacoresistance is a major problem in the treatment of epilepsy. We showed previously that pharmacoresistance, at least partially, is due to an up-regulation of the multidrug transporter (MDT) P-glycoprotein (P-gp): inhibition of P-gp improves seizure control in phenytoin-treated epileptic rats (poststatus epilepticus rat model for temporal lobe epilepsy). Since it has been suggested that levetiracetam (LEV) is no substrate for MDTs, we hypothesized that LEV would more adequately control seizures in this rat model.
Chronic epileptic rats were treated repeatedly with LEV (2-week interval; different dosages) via continuous infusion using osmotic minipumps, 5-6 months after electrically induced status epilepticus. The anticonvulsive effects were determined by video-EEG monitoring and the concentration of LEV was measured in plasma and brain homogenates using gas chromatography.
LEV adequately entered the epileptic brain and dose-dependently suppressed spontaneous seizures in chronic epileptic rats for 3-4 days. Hereafter, seizure frequency increased, while LEV plasma levels did not change. Seizure behavior was less severe throughout the whole treatment. LEV did not affect seizure duration. After a withdrawal period of 2 weeks all rats initially responded again to LEV.
The initial seizure control by LEV supports the observation that LEV is not impeded by MDTs. However, the failure to control seizures for a longer period of time indicates the development of tolerance to this drug. This poses another problem in the treatment of this kind of epilepsy. Whether tolerance may be prevented by intermittent administration of LEV should be further investigated.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A rapid, simple and robust method is presented for the simultaneous determination of seven antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including primidone, phenobarbital, phenytoin, carbamazepine with its two major metabolites carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide and carbamazepine-10,11-(trans)-dihydrodiol and the new AEDs lamotrigine, hydroxycarbazepine (active metabolite of oxcarbazepine) and zonisamide in serum by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-diode array detector (DAD). After solid-phase extraction, separation is achieved on an Alltima 3C18 analytical column using isocratic elution with a mixture of acetonitrile, methanol and phosphate buffer at 45 degrees C. The method is exhaustively validated, including experimental design in combination with statistical evaluation (ANOVA) to study the robustness of chromatography and sample preparation. Commonly co-administered antiepileptic drugs do not interfere with the method. Intra-day precision (RSD<1.9%), linearity, lower limit of quantitation (LOQ<0.065 mg/l) and robustness make the method suitable for daily therapeutic drug monitoring and pharmacokinetic studies.
Journal of Chromatography B 10/2007; 857(1):40-6. DOI:10.1016/j.jchromb.2007.06.023 · 2.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a preliminary investigation an assay for tacrolimus based on fingerprick sampling and consecutive application as a blood spot on sampling paper has been developed. The dried blood spot was analysed by HPLC-tandem mass spectrometry. The validated range was 1-30 microg/l. Intra- and inter-assay variability for precision and accuracy was <7.5% and 15%, respectively. Tacrolimus concentrations of 24 stable out patients were compared after both blood spot sampling and conventional venous sampling. Method agreement was investigated with the methods of Passing and Bablok and Bland Altman and proved suitable for clinical use. The dried blood spot method for tacrolimus seems promising for patient monitoring.
Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis 07/2007; 44(3):658-64. DOI:10.1016/j.jpba.2006.11.023 · 2.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies have suggested that overexpression of the multidrug transporter P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in the hippocampal region leads to decreased levels of antiepileptic drugs and contributes to pharmacoresistance that occurs in a subset of epileptic patients. Whether P-gp expression and function is affected in other brain regions and in organs that are involved in drug metabolism is less studied. Therefore, we investigated P-gp expression in different brain regions and liver of chronic epileptic rats, several months after electrically induced status epilepticus (SE), using Western blot analysis. P-gp function was determined by measuring phenytoin (PHT) levels in these brain regions using high-performance liquid chromatography, in the absence and presence of a P-gp-specific inhibitor, tariquidar (TQD). In addition, the pharmacokinetic profile of PHT was determined. PHT concentration was reduced by 20 to 30% in brain regions that had P-gp overexpression (temporal hippocampus and parahippocampal cortex) and not in brain regions in which P-gp expression was not changed after SE. Inhibition of P-gp by TQD significantly increased the PHT concentration, specifically in regions that showed P-gp overexpression. Despite increased P-gp expression in the liver of epileptic rats, pharmacokinetic analysis showed no significant change of PHT clearance in control versus epileptic rats. These findings show that overexpression of P-gp at the blood-brain barrier of specific limbic brain regions causes a decrease of local PHT levels in the rat brain.
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 07/2007; 322(1):141-7. DOI:10.1124/jpet.107.121178 · 3.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Overexpression of multidrug transporters such as P-glycoprotein (P-gp) may play a significant role in pharmacoresistance, by preventing antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) from reaching their targets in the brain. Until now, many studies have described increased P-gp expression in epileptic tissue or have shown that several AEDs act as substrates for P-gp. However, definitive proof showing the functional involvement of P-gp in pharmacoresistance is still lacking. Here we tested whether P-gp contributes to pharmacoresistance to phenytoin (PHT) by using a specific P-gp inhibitor in a model of spontaneous seizures in rats.
The effects of PHT on spontaneous seizure activity were investigated in the electrical post-status epilepticus rat model for temporal lobe epilepsy, before and after administration of tariquidar (TQD), a selective inhibitor of P-gp.
A 7-day treatment with therapeutic doses of PHT suppressed spontaneous seizure activity in rats, but only partially. However, an almost complete control of seizures by PHT (93 +/- 7%) was obtained in all rats when PHT was coadministered with TQD. This specific P-gp inhibitor was effective in improving the anticonvulsive action of PHT during the first 3-4 days of the treatment. Western blot analysis confirmed P-gp upregulation in epileptic brains (140-200% of control levels), along with approximately 20% reduced PHT brain levels. Inhibition of P-gp by TQD significantly increased PHT brain levels in chronic epileptic rats.
These findings show that TQD significantly improves the anticonvulsive action of PHT, thus establishing a proof-of-concept that the administration of AEDs in combination with P-gp inhibitors may be a promising therapeutic strategy in pharmacoresistant patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Overexpression of multidrug transporters may play a role in the development of pharmacoresistance by decreasing extracellular drug levels in the brain. However, it is not known whether overexpression is due to an initial insult or evolves more gradually because of recurrent spontaneous seizures. In the present study, we investigated the expression of different multidrug transporters during epileptogenesis in the rat. In addition, we determined whether these transporters affected phenytoin (PHT) distribution in the brain.
Expression of multidrug resistance-associated proteins MRP1 and MRP2 and breast cancer-resistance protein (BCRP) was examined after electrically induced status epilepticus (SE) by immunocytochemistry and Western blot analysis. Brain/blood PHT levels were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis in the presence and absence of the MRP inhibitor probenecid.
Shortly after SE, MRP1, MRP2, and BCRP were upregulated in astrocytes within several limbic structures, including hippocampus. In chronic epileptic rats, these proteins were overexpressed in the parahippocampal cortex, specifically in blood vessels and astrocytes surrounding these vessels. Overexpression was related to the occurrence of SE and was present mainly in rats with a high seizure frequency. Brain PHT levels were significantly lower in epileptic rats compared with control rats, but pharmacologic inhibition of MRPs increased the PHT levels.
Overexpression of MRP and BCRP was induced by SE as well as recurrent seizures. Moreover, overexpression was associated with lower PHT levels in the brain, which was reversed through inhibition of MRPs. These data suggest that administration of antiepileptic drugs in combination with specific inhibitors for multidrug transporters may be a promising therapeutic strategy in pharmacoresistant patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although additional dosages of benzodiazepines in long-term users of benzodiazepines are common, it is unknown whether these additional dosages resort any effect. The effects of an additional 20-mg dosage oxazepam were assessed in a double-blind, balanced-order, crossover randomized study comparing 16 long-term users of oxazepam (patients) with 18 benzodiazepine-naive controls (controls). The effects of 10 and 30 mg oxazepam were assessed at pretest and 2.5 hours after drug administration on: (a) saccadic eye movements as proxy for the sedative effect, (b) acoustic startle response (ASR) as proxy for the anxiolytic effects, (c) memory, (d) reaction time tasks, and (e) subjective measurements. Dose-related effects were found in patients on the peak velocity of saccadic eye movement and on response probability, respectively peak amplitude of the ASR. Comparison with controls, however, suggests that in patients the sedative effects might be mixed up with suppression of sedative withdrawal symptoms, whereas patients were as sensitive as benzodiazepine-naive controls for the effects of an additional dosage on the ASR. Neither 10 nor 30 mg oxazepam challenge affected the reaction time tasks in patients, whereas controls show a dose-related impairment. The memory impairing effects, however, did not differ significantly between patients and controls. In contrast to controls, patients could not discriminate between a 10- and 30-mg dosage as assessed by visual analogue scales and the STAI-DY-1, which might indicate a placebo effect in the 10-mg challenge in patients. We conclude that additional dosages of oxazepam still exert pronounced effects after daily use for more than 10 years.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A rapid, simple and robust method is presented for the simultaneous determination of the gamma-amino-n-butyric acid (GABA) derivatives pregabalin (PGB), gabapentin (GBP) and vigabatrin (VGB) in human serum by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Serum is deproteinized with trichloroacetic acid and aliquots of the supernatant are precolumn derivatized with o-phtaldialdehyde (OPA) and 3-mercaptopropionic acid. Separation is achieved on a Alltima 3C18 column using isocratic elution; the drugs are monitored using fluorescence detection. Norvaline is used as an internal standard. Within-day precision (COV; n = 10) is 1.2% for PGB (serum concentration 10.0 mg/l), 1.1% for GBP (serum concentration 15.8 mg/l) and 0.3% for VGB (serum concentration 15.5 mg/l). The method is linear up to at least 63 mg/l for PGB, 40 mg/l for GBP and 62 mg/l for VGB. Lower limits of quantitation (LOQ) are 0.13 mg/l for PGB, 0.53 mg/l for GBP and 0.06 mg/l for VGB. No interferences were found from commonly coadministered antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and from endogenous amino acids. Experimental design in combination with statistical evaluation (ANOVA) was used to study the robustness of chromatography and sample preparation. The method is very suitable for routine therapeutic drug monitoring and for pharmacokinetic studies.
Journal of Chromatography B 11/2004; 810(2):297-303. DOI:10.1016/j.jchromb.2004.08.018 · 2.69 Impact Factor