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J Neurol. 2018 Aug;265(8):1934-1936. doi: 10.1007/s00415-018-8943-3. Epub 2018 Jun 21.

Can epilepsy be treated by antibiotics?

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Academic Center for Epileptology, Kempenhaeghe & Maastricht UMC+, Sterkselseweg 65, 5591 VE, Heeze, The Netherlands. braakmanh@kempenhaeghe.nl.
2
Department of Medical Microbiology, Radboud University Medical Center, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Abstract

There is mounting evidence for the role of the gut microbiota and gut-brain interactions in neurological diseases. We present six patients with drug-resistant epilepsy who attained temporary seizure freedom during antibiotic treatment. The effect on seizure frequency waned within 2 weeks after cessation of antibiotic treatment. We hypothesized that antibiotic treatments may have a short-term effect, through gut microbiota disruption, on gut-brain interactions and ultimately seizure frequency. This observed impact of antibiotics on seizure frequency hints at a possible role of the gut microbiota in epilepsy and its manifestations. This begs the question: can epilepsy be treated by antibiotics? Or perhaps in a broader sense: can alterations in the gut microbiota be used as a treatment modality in drug-resistant epilepsy? This concept and the six intriguing cases provide interesting leads for epilepsy management.

KEYWORDS:

Antibiotics; Epilepsy; Ketogenic diet; Microbiome

PMID:
29931545
DOI:
10.1007/s00415-018-8943-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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