Epilepsy affects upwards of 50 million people worldwide.
Epilepsy affects upwards of 50 million people worldwide. Epilepsy is defined as a pattern of repetitive seizures. Seizures are abnormal spreading electrical activity within the brain that causes dysfunction of part or all of the brain. Known causes include head injuries, brain tumors, lead poisoning, mal-development of the brain, genetic illness and infectious illnesses. However, in half of cases, no cause can be found. Oral medications (anticonvulsants, antiepileptic drugs) are the first line of treatment.
Oral medications are not effective for 30% of epilepsy patients.
Patients who are resistant to conventional orally administered medications are called “refractory” and improving the lives of refractory patients is the core issue for clinicians treating epilepsy.
Over the last 20 years, many refractory epilepsy patients have moved beyond taking a single drug to taking multiple anticonvulsant drugs, without successful treatment.
Non-compliance further decreases the successfulness of oral medications.
Successful treatment with anticonvulsants depends on achieving consistent levels of medication within the brain. Failure to meet medication-dosing regimens leads to an increase in seizures. On average, 30 – 40% of epileptic patients are known to be non-compliant with their drug regimen. The medical consequences of non-compliance are well known and documented. A recent study of 30,000 patients found a threefold increase in mortality as compared to drug compliant patients along with a higher incidence of emergency-room visits, hospitalizations and fractures. Further, non-compliance is a major cause of increased healthcare cost in the treatment of epilepsy.
Vagal Nerve Stimulation, an implantable surgical device that stimulates the Vagus Nerve in the neck, has been used in medically refractory patients. Unfortunately, it has been unable to make a significant difference for the vast majority of patients.
Refractory patients are the focus of Cerebral Therapeutics’ medication therapy.
|Total Patients||1.2% or 3.4 million|
|Most Severe Refractory Patients||600,000|
|Refractory Epilepsy Treatment Market||$2.5 billion|
|Antiepileptic Drug Market (World, 2008)||$11.34 billion|
|Vagal Nerve Stimulation Epilepsy Sales||$300 million|