The neurobiology of antiepileptic drugs

Michael A Rogawski, Wolfgang Löscher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

883 Scopus citations


Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) provide satisfactory control of seizures for most patients with epilepsy. The drugs have the remarkable ability to protect against seizures while permitting normal functioning of the nervous system. AEDs act on diverse molecular targets to selectively modify the excitability of neurons so that seizure-related firing is blocked without disturbing non-epileptic activity. This occurs largely through effects on voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels, or by promoting inhibition mediated by GABA A (γ-aminobutyric acid, type A) receptors. The subtle biophysical modifications in channel behaviour that are induced by AEDs are often functionally opposite to defects in channel properties that are caused by mutations associated with epilepsy in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-564
Number of pages12
JournalNature Reviews Neuroscience
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Cell Biology


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