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Potassium channels as anti-epileptic drug targets.

Alan D Wickenden

Neuropharmacology, 2002 Dec , 43, 1055-60

It is estimated that up to 30% of epilepsy patients are poorly treated with available anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). Thus, there is a medical need for new AEDs with novel mechanisms of action to serve as alternate or adjunct therapy for the treatment of drug-resistant or refractory epilepsy. One potential anti-epileptic mechanism that has not yet been exploited is K(+) channel opening. Considerable genetic, molecular, physiological and pharmacological evidence now exists to support a role for K(+) channels such as KCNQ2/Q3, Kv1.1, KATP and GIRK2 in the control of neuronal excitability and epileptogenesis. Evidence supporting these K(+) channels as novel AED targets will be reviewed in the following article.