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“The disease, the way I would term it, is very persistent. There haven’t been enough advances in the treatment of epilepsy to make a major difference, at least in the last 2 decades. As people come to AES this year, they should take it to heart that there are options to try to get to seizure freedom. You should not accept the fact that a certain amount of seizures every month is an acceptable way of life.”
Epilepsy is a neurological disease known throughout history and before the understanding of the central nervous system, seizures were a mystery and patients often faced discrimination. Currently, patients with epilepsy continue to experience discrimination ranging from lack of access to health insurance, jobs, and marriage equality to forced sterilizations.1 Despite the recent strides made in the field, there are still many misconceptions globally regarding the seizure condition. Research shows patients with epilepsy in communities who understand the pathology and the cause of seizures are generally more successful in social and educational environments. Although the field continues to progress with the development of potential therapies for achieving seizure freedom, researchers suggest that more work which is needed in educating the community worldwide about the pathology of epilepsy.
At the 2023 American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting, held December 1-5, in Orlando, Florida, a symposium hosted by SK Life Science centered around the currently available strategies for reducing and achieving seizure freedom, and the need to better understand unmet needs for achieving seizure freedom. Additionally, experts spoke on evidence-based treatment adjustments before patients consider surgery and the various treatment options available to support patients in their epilepsy journey. In addition to the symposium, the company presented 10 posters, including a claim-based analysis on effectiveness of cenobamate as a monotherapy and a retrospective claim-based analysis on the comparative effectiveness of cenobamate (Xcopri) in reducing hospitalizations in patients with focal seizures.2
Prior to the meeting, Louis Ferrari, RPh, MBA, vice president of medical affairs at SK Life Science, sat down with NeurologyLive® to provide an overview of the landscape of care for patients with epilepsy. He talked about how the historical persistence of epilepsy has shaped the current challenges in achieving seizure freedom. Ferrari also spoke about the factors that contribute to the slow adoption of newly developed drugs for epilepsy treatment, even in the orphan epilepsy world. In addition, Ferrari explained how healthcare providers and patients can actively advocate for improved epilepsy treatment and better outcomes.
1. Kaculini CM, Tate-Looney AJ, Seifi A. The History of Epilepsy: From Ancient Mystery to Modern Misconception. Cureus. 2021;13(3):e13953. Published 2021 Mar 17. doi:10.7759/cureus.13953
2. SK Life Science to Host Symposium and Present New Data at the American Epilepsy Society (AES) 2023 Annual Meeting. News Release. SK Life Science. Published November 28, 2023. Accessed December 1, 2023. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sk-life-science-to-host-symposium-and-present-new-data-at-the-american-epilepsy-society-aes-2023-annual-meeting-301998374.html
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