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Method for drug-resistant epilepsy identification

BiomarkersMetabolomicsPharmaco-resistant epilepsyTest


The subjects with pharmaco-resistant epilepsy don’t benefit from both the traditional and the most recent anticonvulsant drugs. We patented a test allowing for a clear distinction between the group of parmacoresistant subjects and those under pharmacologic control by using the same drugs. The metabolomic analysys of pharmacoresistant subjects may address the patients towards other solutions, mostly the modern surgical options.

Technical features

In our study, we analyzed the metabolic profile of 35 epileptic patients and 35 control patients to define the metabolic fingerprint of patients non-responders to therapy. For this aim, plasma samples of the patients were analyzed with nuclear magnetic resonance and the data obtained were processed with multivariate statistical analysis. To test the sensitivity and specificity of the identified biomarkers the Receiver Operating Characteristic  (ROC) curves were built by using the distance of Mahalanobis. The work of the patent has  highlighted a pattern of significantly altered molecules (viz. 3-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, choline, citrate, glucose, glutamate, lactate, scyllo-inositol, alanine) describing the differences between drug epileptic patients resistant to or not to therapy. The identified metabolites could represent the basis for the construction of a diagnostic test. A validation process is underway on a larger numbers of subjects.

Possible Applications

  • Fast diagnosis of drug-resistant epilepsy;
  • Pharmaceutical development of rapid diagnostic kits.


  • Application of metabolomics to the clinic;
  • A rapid diagnostic procedure of pharmaco-resistant condition;
  • A prompt surgical intervention in drug-resistant patients;