Current and Emerging Treatments for Absence Seizures in Young Patients.

Current and emerging treatments for absence seizures in young patients.

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2013; 9: 963-75
Vrielynck P

In this report, we review the pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments of the different absence seizure types as recently recognized by the International League Against Epilepsy: typical absences, atypical absences, myoclonic absences, and eyelid myoclonia with absences. Overall, valproate and ethosuximide remain the principal anti-absence drugs. Typical absence seizures exhibit a specific electroclinical semiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacological response profile. A large-scale comparative study has recently confirmed the key role of ethosuximide in the treatment of childhood absence epilepsy, more than 50 years after its introduction. No new antiepileptic drug has proven major efficacy against typical absences. Of the medications under development, brivaracetam might be an efficacious anti-absence drug. Some experimental drugs also show efficacy in animal models of typical absence seizures. The treatment of other absence seizure types is not supported with a high level of evidence. Rufinamide appears to be the most promising new antiepileptic drug for atypical absences and possibly for myoclonic absences. The efficacy of vagal nerve stimulation should be further evaluated for atypical absences. Levetiracetam appears to display a particular efficacy in eyelid myoclonia with absences. Finally, it is important to remember that the majority of antiepileptic drugs, whether they be old or new, may aggravate typical and atypical absence seizures. HubMed – drug

Drug-eluting scaffold to deliver chemotherapeutic medication for management of pancreatic cancer after surgery.

Int J Nanomedicine. 2013; 8: 2465-72
Zhan Q, Shen B, Deng X, Chen H, Jin J, Zhang X, Peng C, Li H

Traditional post-surgical chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer is notorious for its devastating side effects due to the high dosage required. On the other hand, legitimate concerns have been raised about nanoparticle-mediated drug delivery because of its potential cytotoxicity. Therefore, we explored the local delivery of a reduced dosage of FOLFIRINOX, a four-drug regimen comprising oxaliplatin, leucovorin, irinotecan, and fluorouracil, for pancreatic cancer using a biocompatible drug-eluting scaffold as a novel chemotherapy strategy after palliative surgery. In vitro assays showed that FOLFIRINOX in the scaffold caused massive apoptosis and thereby a decrease in the viability of pancreatic cancer cells, confirming the chemotherapeutic capability of the drug-eluting scaffold. In vivo studies in an orthotopic murine xenograft model demonstrated that the FOLFIRINOX in the scaffold had antitumorigenic and antimetastatic effects comparable with those achieved by intraperitoneal injection, despite the dose released by the scaffold being roughly two thirds lower. A mechanistic study attributed our results to the excellent ability of the FOLFIRINOX in the scaffold to destroy the CD133(+)CXCR4(+) cell population responsible for pancreatic tumorigenesis and metastasis. This clinically oriented study gives rise to a promising alternative strategy for postsurgical management of pancreatic cancer, featuring a local chemotherapeutic effect with considerable attenuation of side effects. HubMed – drug

Management of asthma in the elderly patient.

Clin Interv Aging. 2013; 8: 913-22
Melani AS

A significant number of older asthmatics, more often than in previous ages, have poorly controlled asthma, leading to increased morbidity and mortality. On the other hand, current guidelines suggest that most asthmatics can obtain achievement and maintenance of disease control and do not include sections specific to the management of asthma in the elderly so that it is more evident the contrast between poor control of asthma in the elderly and the lack of specific guidance from guidelines on asthma management in older asthmatics. Inhaled corticosteroids are the cornerstone for older asthmatics, eventually with add-on inhaled long-acting beta-agonists; inhaled short acting beta-agonists can be used as rescue medications. Triggers exacerbating asthma are similar for all ages, but inhaled viruses and drug interactions have greater clinical significance in the elderly. Older asthmatics have an increased likelihood of comorbidities and polypharmacy, with possible worsening of asthma control and reduced treatment adherence. Physicians and older asthmatics probably either do not perceive or accept a poor asthma control. We conclude that specific instruments addressed to evaluate asthma control in the elderly with concomitant comorbidities and measurements for improving self-management and adherence could assure better disease control in older asthmatics. HubMed – drug