Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) Inhibition: Potential for Antiseizure, Antiepileptogenic, and Epileptostatic Therapy
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- Ryther, R.C.C. & Wong, M. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep (2012) 12: 410. doi:10.1007/s11910-012-0276-5
New epilepsy treatments are needed that not only inhibit seizures symptomatically (antiseizure) but also prevent the development of epilepsy (antiepileptogenic). The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway may mediate mechanisms of epileptogenesis and serve as a rational therapeutic target. mTOR inhibitors have antiepileptogenic and antiseizure effects in animal models of the genetic disease, tuberous sclerosis complex. The mTOR pathway is also implicated in epileptogenesis in animal models of acquired epilepsy and infantile spasms, although the effects of mTOR inhibitors are variable depending on the specific conditions and model. Furthermore, beneficial effects on seizures are lost when treatment is withdrawn, suggesting that mTOR inhibitors are “epileptostatic” in only stalling epilepsy progression during treatment. Clinical studies of rapamycin in human epilepsy are limited, but suggest that mTOR inhibitors at least have antiseizure effects in tuberous sclerosis patients. Further studies are needed to assess the full potential of mTOR inhibitors for epilepsy treatment.