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Year : 2013   |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 76-88

Voltage Gated Ion Channels as Therapeutic Target for Drug Discovery

Epilepsy is a disorder of central nervous system characterized by spontaneous seizures. The seizures result from neuronal hyperexcitability and hypersynchronus neuronal firing. Inspite of number of drugs available for the treatment of epilepsy approximately 30% patients continue to have seizure episodes and the rest suffer from drug related side effects. This underlines the need for development of safer and effective antiepileptic drugs. Voltage gated ion channel (VGIC) governs the excitability of neurons and perform various function ranging from initiation of action potential, synaptic transmission, neurotransmitter release, termination of action potential to stabilization of neuronal membrane around resting potential. Channelopathies of these ion channels is known to be associated with epileptic seizures. Various drugs either available in the market or in the experimental use have been known to act on these VGICs. This review focuses on the physiological role and selective targeting of these ion channels (sodium, potassium, calcium and Hyperpolarization activated cyclic nucleotide gated (HCN) channels) for design and development of potent and safer efficacious antiepileptic drugs
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