A new medication offers hope for the most severe form of childhood epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Clobazam
just received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval following research that showed it reduces the number of seizures. Ng, an OU Children's Physicians doctor, took the lead in clinical trials involving 350 patients at 51 health centers in the U.S., India, Europe and Australia.
“Some of these patients would be in wheelchairs. Some would have 50 or 100 seizures a day,” Ng said during a news conference Thursday.
Two weeks after being on the medication, the patients reported to researchers that they had gone from many seizures a day to none.
“There was nearly a 70 percent drop in seizures,” in patients using the high dosages, Ng said.
In these tightly controlled trials, patients who received lower doses also had fewer seizures.
About 3 million Americans of all ages have epilepsy. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is a severe childhood epilepsy associated with several types of seizures that usually occur before 8 years of age.
The drug clobazam originated in France around 1980 but Ng said this was the first randomized, controlled trial involving the drug that works on brain receptors to increase calming effects.
“This appears to be a very safe and effective medication,” Ng said.
The journal Neurology published Ng's paper on the drug study.