This page describes a Qedoc learning module or quiz entitled "Anticonvulsants". You can download the module from this page to put on your computer. You can also launch the module straight off the web using the launch quiz link on the right-hand side of this page. Another way to access this quiz is to install the Qedoc Quiz Player and bring up its directory of downloadable quizzes. Whichever way you choose to use it, it's free.
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EEG. Classification and characterization of the epilepsies: petit mal, grand mal, partial seizure etc. Mechanism of action of useful anticonvulsants. GABA receptors. Drugs enhancing inhibitory neurotransmission e.g. benzodiazepines, valproate. Drugs acting on sodium channels e.g. carbamazepine, phenytoin. Possible new mechanisms e.g. NMDA antagonists. Common side effects.
The module contains the following activities:
- All Questions
- Types of Epilepsy
- Antiepileptic drugs
- Enhancement of GABA action
- Inhibition of sodium channel function
- Inhibition of calcium channels
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- In this type of epilepsy, which is often associated with a focus in the temporal lobe, the attack may consist of stereotyped purposive movements such as rubbing or patting movements, or much more complex behaviour such as dressing, walking or hair combing. The seizure usually lasts for a few minutes, after which the patient recovers with no recollection of the event. The behaviour during the seizure can be bizarre and accompanied by a strong emotional response.
- An epileptic focus in what part of the brain results in attacks, sometimes called jacksonian epilepsy, consisting of repetitive jerking of a particular muscle group, beginning on one side of the body, often in the thumb, big toe or angle of the mouth, which spreads and may involve much of the body within about 2 minutes before dying out. The patient loses voluntary control of the affected parts of the body but does not necessarily lose consciousness.
- Recent studies suggest that neurotrophins, particularly brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), may play a role in epileptogenesis. BDNF, which acts on a membrane receptor tyrosine kinase enhances membrane excitability and also stimulates synapse formation. Specific blocking agents represent a possible future strategy for treating epilepsy but remain to be identified.
- It has been found empirically that drugs that inhibit PTZ-induced convulsions and raise the threshold for production of electrically induced seizures are generally effective against absence seizures, whereas those that reduce the duration and spread of electrically induced convulsions are effective in focal types of epilepsy such as tonic-clonic seizures.
- Other mechanisms of antiepileptic drug action include inhibition of glutamate release and block of glutamate receptors. It is clear that properties such as use-dependence and voltage-dependence of channel-blocking drugs are important in achieving this selectivity, but our understanding remains fragmentary.
- The absorption of which drug from the intestine depends on the amino acid carrier system and shows the property of saturability, which means that increasing the dose does not proportionately increase the amount absorbed. This makes it relatively safe and free of side effects associated with overdosing.
- Which antiepileptic drug which belongs to the succinimide class, is pharmacologically and clinically different from most drugs in that it is active against PTZ-induced convulsions in animals and against absence seizures in humans, with little or no effect on other types of epilepsy.?
- Which antiepileptic drug is particularly useful in certain types of infantile epilepsy, where its low toxicity and lack of sedative action are important, and in adolescents in whom grand mal and petit mal coexist, because unlike most antiepileptic drugs is effective against both.?
- The clinical classification of epilepsy defines two major categories, namely partial and generalised seizures, although there is some overlap and many varieties of each. Either form is classified as simple (if consciousness is not lost) or complex (if consciousness is lost).
- Antagonists at excitatory amino acid receptors have not, despite showing efficacy in animal models, proved useful in the clinic, because the margin between the desired anticonvulsant effect and unacceptable side effects, such as loss of motor coordination, is too narrow.
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