Nature Reviews Neurology

Impact of predictive, preventive and precision medicine strategies in epilepsy

1 December, 2020

Rima Nabbout & Mathieu Kuchenbuch

Nature Reviews Neurology December 2020 pp 674 - 688 | doi:10.1038/s41582-020-0409-4


Over the last decade, advances in genetics, neuroimaging and EEG have enabled the aetiology of epilepsy to be identified earlier in the disease course than ever before. At the same time, progress in the study of experimental models of epilepsy has provided a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the condition and has enabled the identification of therapies that target specific aetiologies.

We are now witnessing the impact of these advances in our daily clinical practice. Thus, now is the time for a paradigm shift in epilepsy treatment from a reactive attitude, treating patients after the onset of epilepsy and the initiation of seizures, to a proactive attitude that is more broadly integrated into a ‘P4 medicine’ approach. This P4 approach, which is personalized, predictive, preventive and participatory, puts patients at the centre of their own care and, ultimately, aims to prevent the onset of epilepsy. This aim will be achieved by adapting epilepsy treatments not only to a given syndrome but also to a given patient and moving from the usual anti-seizure treatments to personalized treatments designed to target specific aetiologies. In this Review, we present the current state of this ongoing revolution, emphasizing the impact on clinical practice.