Sara María Garcia Pedrero, Sandrine Gerber
Epilepsy affects more than 40 million people worldwide, constituting one of the most debilitating disorders of the Central Nervous System (CNS). It results from an imbalance in the electrical activity of neurons, which is primarily mediated by calcium ions. In many cases, treatment with Antiepileptic Drugs (AEDs) that regulate calcium channel activity results in successful seizure control. However, AEDs frequently cause adverse effects that range in severity from minimal impairment of the CNS to death from aplastic anemia or hepatic failure. Moreover, 30% of epileptic patients show drug-resistant epilepsy and do not respond to any form of medical treatment. In this context, nanotechnology has emerged as an excellent tool to overcome AEDs limitations. Numerous nano-strategies have been proposed as therapeutics and diagnostics for epilepsy through inhibition of different calcium channel types in the brain. In addition, limited brain access of classical AEDs in patients showing refractory epilepsy could be improved through the design of targeted drug delivery nanosystems. This report presents a review of the nanocarriers developed so far that could facilitate the interaction with calcium channels in the brain and the transport of AEDs through the blood-brain-barrier, mapping out a potential future direction in the research of epilepsy treatment.