Metabolic and functional MR biomarkers of antiepileptic drug effectiveness: A review

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Abstract

As a large number of patients with epilepsy do not respond favorably to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), a better understanding of treatment failure and the cause of adverse side effects is required. The working mechanisms of AEDs also alter neurotransmitter concentrations and brain activity, which can be measured using MR spectroscopy and functional MR imaging, respectively. This review presents an overview of clinical research of MR spectroscopy and functional MR imaging studies to the effects of AEDs on the brain. Despite the scarcity of studies associating MR findings to the effectiveness of AEDs, the current research shows clear potential regarding this matter. Several GABAergic AEDs have been shown to increase the GABA concentration, which was related to seizure reductions, while language problems due to topiramate have been associated with altered activation patterns measured with functional MR imaging. MR spectroscopy and functional MR imaging provide biomarkers that may predict individual treatment outcomes, and enable the assessment of mechanisms of treatment failure and cognitive side effects.

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