A new study is bringing new hope to people suffering from head-injury-induced epilepsy. The research published by scientists at Israel’s Ben Gurion University of the Negev, the University of California Berkeley and Charité University of Medicine in Germany found that a commonly used hypertension drug dramatically decreased the number of seizures suffered by rats who had experienced head trauma, negatively affecting the likelihood of developing post-traumatic epilepsy.
The study, published in the Annals of Neurology, discovered that a drug used to control high blood pressure known as losartan (commercially known as Cozaar) prevented seizures in about 60 percent of the injured rats that were tested, in comparison to the 100 percent which usually develop epilepsy. In fact, nearly 10 to 20 percent of all cases of epilepsy are the result of severe head trauma like concussion, which makes this study into the halting effects of losartan exceedingly important.
“This is the first-ever approach in which epilepsy development is stopped, as opposed to common drugs that try to prevent seizures once epilepsy develops,”said Alon Friedman, Professor of Physiology and Neurobiology and member of the Zlotowski Center for Neuroscience at BGU of the research. “Those drugs are administered for many years, have a limited success and involve many side effects, so we are excited about the new approach.”