Antiepileptogenesis and disease modification : progress, challenges, and the path forward - Report of the Preclinical Working Group of the 2018 NINDS‐sponsored antiepileptogenesis and disease modification workshop
Epilepsy is one of the most common chronic brain diseases and is often associated with cognitive, behavioral, or other medical conditions. The need for therapies that would prevent, ameliorate, or cure epilepsy and the attendant comorbidities is a priority for both epilepsy research and public health. In 2018, the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke (NINDS) convened a workshop titled "Accelerating the Development of Therapies for Antiepileptogenesis and Disease Modification" that brought together preclinical and clinical investigators and industry and regulatory bodies' representatives to discuss and propose a roadmap to accelerate the development of antiepileptogenic (AEG) and disease-modifying (DM) new therapies. This report provides a summary of the discussions and proposals of the Preclinical Science working group. Highlights of the progress of collaborative preclinical research projects on AEG/DM of ongoing research initiatives aiming to improve infrastructure and translation to clinical trials are presented. Opportunities and challenges of preclinical epilepsy research, vis-à-vis clinical research, were extensively discussed, as they pertain to modeling of specific epilepsy types across etiologies and ages, the utilization of preclinical models in AG/DM studies, and the strategies and study designs, as well as on matters pertaining to transparency, data sharing, and reporting research findings. A set of suggestions on research initiatives, infrastructure, workshops, advocacy, and opportunities for expanding the borders of epilepsy research were discussed and proposed as useful initiatives that could help create a roadmap to accelerate and optimize preclinical translational AEG/DM epilepsy research.