Many patients with status epilepticus – a neurological emergency characterised by prolonged seizure – do not respond to currently available drugs and may have to be placed into a pharmacologically induced coma. Therefore, there is a need for acute treatments to manage the condition.
Researchers from Northwestern University in Illinois studied a rat model of status epilepticus and found that oestrogen production is increased in the hippocampus during seizures. Administration of the aromatase inhibitors letrozole or fadrozole systemically or directly into the hippocampus shortly after seizures significantly reduced seizure activity in both male and female animals.
Reporting in eLife (online, 14 April 2016)
, the researchers say that the results suggest that clinically available drugs could be effective at suppressing seizures in humans.