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      Brivaracetam, a Novel Antiepileptic Drug: Is it Effective and Safe? Results from One Phase III Randomized Trial

      Epilepsy Currents
      American Epilepsy Society

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          Abnormal neurotransmission in mice lacking synaptic vesicle protein 2A (SV2A).

          Synaptic vesicle protein 2 (SV2) is a membrane glycoprotein common to all synaptic and endocrine vesicles. Unlike many proteins involved in synaptic exocytosis, SV2 has no homolog in yeast, indicating that it performs a function unique to secretion in higher eukaryotes. Although the structure and protein interactions of SV2 suggest multiple possible functions, its role in synaptic events remains unknown. To explore the function of SV2 in an in vivo context, we generated mice that do not express the primary SV2 isoform, SV2A, by using targeted gene disruption. Animals homozygous for the SV2A gene disruption appear normal at birth. However, they fail to grow, experience severe seizures, and die within 3 weeks, suggesting multiple neural and endocrine deficits. Electrophysiological studies of spontaneous inhibitory neurotransmission in the CA3 region of the hippocampus revealed that loss of SV2A leads to a reduction in action potential-dependent gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic neurotransmission. In contrast, action potential-independent neurotransmission was normal. Analyses of synapse ultrastructure suggest that altered neurotransmission is not caused by changes in synapse density or morphology. These findings demonstrate that SV2A is an essential protein and implicate it in the control of exocytosis.
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            Brivaracetam as adjunctive treatment for uncontrolled partial epilepsy in adults: a phase III randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

            Brivaracetam (BRV) is a novel high-affinity synaptic vesicle protein 2A ligand currently being investigated for the treatment of epilepsy. The purpose of this phase III study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety/tolerability of adjunctive BRV in adults with uncontrolled partial-onset (focal) seizures.
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              Decreased expression of synaptic vesicle protein 2A, the binding site for levetiracetam, during epileptogenesis and chronic epilepsy.

              We previously showed that gene expression of synaptic vesicle protein 2A (SV2A), the binding site for the antiepileptic drug levetiracetam, is reduced during epileptogenesis in the rat. Since absence of SV2A has been associated with increased epileptogenicity, changes in expression of SV2A could have consequences for the progression of epilepsy. Therefore we investigated hippocampal SV2A protein expression of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) patients and in rats during epileptogenesis and in the chronic epileptic phase. SV2A immunocytochemistry and Western blot analysis were performed on the hippocampus of autopsy controls, patients that died from status epilepticus (SE), and pharmacoresistant TLE patients. In addition, in epileptic rats, SV2A expression was determined after SE during the acute, latent, and chronic epileptic phase. In control tissue, presynaptic SV2A was expressed in all hippocampal subfields, with strongest expression in mossy fiber terminals. SV2A positive puncta were distributed in a patchy pattern over the somata and dendrites of neurons. SV2A decreased throughout the hippocampus of TLE patients with hippocampal sclerosis (HS), compared to autopsy control, SE, and non-HS tissue. In most rats, SV2A was already decreased in the latent period especially in the inner molecular layer and stratum lucidum. Similarly as in humans, SV2A was also decreased throughout the hippocampus of chronic epileptic rats, specifically in rats with a progressive form of epilepsy. These data support previous findings that reduced expression of SV2A could contribute to the increased epileptogenicity. Whether this affects the effectiveness of levetiracetam needs to be further investigated.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Epilepsy Currents
                Epilepsy Currents
                American Epilepsy Society
                1535-7597
                1535-7511
                July 2014
                July 2014
                : 14
                : 4
                : 196-198
                Article
                10.5698/1535-7597-14.4.196
                70d82118-670e-4940-b90c-bc5b996530c0
                © 2014

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