The Anticonvulsant Drug Development Program
The project uses animal seizure models and neuroscience techniques to help develop new antiepileptic agents. Some 800-1000 novel compounds per year are evaluated against conventional drugs for anticonvulsant efficacy and potency, neurotoxicity, effect on liver function, and mechanism of action. Promising compounds, which exhibit a high level and/or unusual spectrum of anticonvulsant activity with superior therapeutic potential, are selected for detailed toxicology studies and subsequent clinical trials in epileptic patients. The project has been continually funded since 1975 and every new anticonvulsant introduced to clinical use in the USA during the past 20 years has been evaluated in this research program.
The program is an integral part of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and, as such, provides a site for research training of undergraduate students, departmental graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Faculty aligned with the program also provide instruction to professional students in the College of Pharmacy and the School of Medicine.