admin November 18, 2019

Pharmacological treatment with antiepileptic medications (AEDs) in epilepsy is associated with a variety of neurocognitive side effects. However, the mechanisms underlying these side effects, and why certain brain anatomies are more affected still remain poorly understood. Advanced functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) methods, such as pharmaco-fMRI, can investigate medication-related effects on brain activities using task and resting state fMRI and showing reproducible activation and deactivation patterns. This methodological approach has been used successfully to complement neuropsychological studies of AEDs. Here we review pharmaco-fMRI studies in people with epilepsy targeting the most-widely prescribed AEDs. Pharmco-fMRI has advanced our understanding of the impact of AEDs on specific brain networks and thus may provide potential biomarkers to move beyond the current “trial and error” approach when commencing anti-epileptic medication.

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