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Natural Products in Epilepsy—the Present Situation and Perspectives for the Future

Author(s): Dana Ekstein | Steven C. Schachter

Journal: Pharmaceuticals
ISSN 1424-8247

Volume: 3;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 1426;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: epilepsy | natural products | complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) | botanicals

More efficacious and better tolerated treatments for epilepsy are clearly needed. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has a long history of use in certain parts of the world and has gained increasing interest over the last decades in Western countries. In countries with a Western-based type of medical system, people with epilepsy (PWE) take natural products or engage in other forms of CAM mainly to enhance general health, but also to prevent seizures or to alleviate symptoms of comorbidities or side effects of antiepileptic medications. In other countries, well developed medical systems, such as traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, are often the basis for treating PWE. Based on anecdotal reports of efficacy in PWE, natural products from these and other traditions are increasingly being studied in animal models of epilepsy, and candidates for further clinical development have been identified. It is likely, therefore, that natural products will be further evaluated for safety, tolerability and efficacy in PWE with drug-resistant seizures.
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