About this Research Topic
Epilepsy, with different seizure types, and pathological anxiety are highly prevalent around the world. Besides the high epidemiological impact and public health relevance of anxiety disorders in different segments of our modern society, anxiety is also a feature shown in a large percentage of epileptic patients. It has been hypothesized that the relief of symptoms elicited by anxiety may produce a positive effect on the prognosis of epileptic patients. There is some commonality in neurocircuits involved in the prevention or manifestation of seizures, and in the regulation of behavior and mood underlying anxiety. Moreover, the pathophysiological mechanism related to the onset and maintenance of different types of epilepsy/seizures includes the imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic activities, which has been observed to have a critical role in the triggering of anxiety disorders.
Despite the important differences in the molecular and neuronal bases involved in the onset and development of epilepsy and anxiety, the share of particular pathophysiological mechanisms and neural pathways sub-serving epilepsy and anxiety states allows the use of common drugs to treat both disorders in some cases. Predictably, several factors can differentially and separately contribute to the neuropathology underlying both epilepsy and anxiety disorders. The delay in the onset of action for current pharmacological treatments, the severe side effects produced by these drugs and the poor therapeutic compliance, as well as the unresponsiveness to several drugs are all important challenges in the treatment of epilepsy and anxiety disorders. Based on this, new pharmacological strategies and innovations, especially those driven by classical and/or modern biotechnology, are critical to promote a better and safer treatment of both neurological and psychiatric disorders.
Thus, this Research Topic will be assembled by Reviews and Original Research articles, covering the new frontiers/insights about the treatment of epilepsy and anxiety disorders, including two major fronts:
1) New well-chemically established compounds from foods, plants and animal venoms applied to the treatment and/or understanding of molecular, neuronal and behavioral bases of epilepsy and anxiety. Emphasis on neuropharmacology underlying new mode of actions, new targets and new insights about the structure-activities relationship will be desirable. A comprehensive and an overlapped use of different/complementary in vitro or in vivo methodologies dealing with animal models including those genetically modified, neurochemical, biochemical/molecular or cellular biology and histology assays are encouraged in terms of pharmacological description of new drugs.
Preliminary studies involving only chemical structure identification, the brief description of chromatographic isolation of new agents, as well as studies carried out with crude extracts or that do not cover the latest insight will not be considered for publication. Briefly, the Four Pillars of Ethnopharmacology guideline followed by Frontiers must be respected.
2) Nanobiotechnology applied to drug delivery and/or to understanding of pharmacological treatment or treatment resistance of epilepsy and/or anxiety disorders. Bioinspired and/or bioengineered peptides, RNA interference and/or CRISPR gene editing and/or CRISPR animal models applied to treatment or understanding of epilepsy/anxiety. Other related topics may be accepted after editor consultation.
Keywords: Anxiolytics, antiepileptics, neuropharmacology, natural compounds, biotechnological approaches