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An Emerging Role for Sigma-1 Receptors in the Treatment of Developmental and Epileptic Encephalopathies

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEEs) are complex conditions characterized primarily by seizures associated with neurodevelopmental and motor deficits. Recent evidence supports sigma-1 receptor modulation in both neuroprotection and antiseizure activity, suggesting that sigma-1 receptors may play a role in the pathogenesis of DEEs, and that targeting this receptor has the potential to positively impact both seizures and non-seizure outcomes in these disorders. Recent studies have demonstrated that the antiseizure medication fenfluramine, a serotonin-releasing drug that also acts as a positive modulator of sigma-1 receptors, reduces seizures and improves everyday executive functions (behavior, emotions, cognition) in patients with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Here, we review the evidence for sigma-1 activity in reducing seizure frequency and promoting neuroprotection in the context of DEE pathophysiology and clinical presentation, using fenfluramine as a case example. Challenges and opportunities for future research include developing appropriate models for evaluating sigma-1 receptors in these syndromic epileptic conditions with multisystem involvement and complex clinical presentation.
Journal: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ISSN: 1661-6596
Issue: 16
Volume: 22
Publication year:2021
BOF-publication weight:1
CSS-citation score:1
Authors from:Higher Education