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Much of the research for intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) use in epilepsy has focused on childhood epilepsies and the results have been inconclusive. As evidence for inflammation in epilepsy and epileptogenesis is accumulating, IVIG might have a role to play in adult epilepsy. Our literature review focuses on the purported mechanisms of IVIG, the link between inflammation and the various causes of adult epilepsy and the different steps of epileptogenesis at which inflammation might play a role. We also review the current clinical evidence supporting IVIG as a treatment for epilepsy in the adult population. Though there is interesting theoretical potential for treatment of refractory epilepsy in adults with IVIG, insufficient evidence exists to support its standard use. The question remains if IVIG should still be considered as an end-of-the-line option for patients with epilepsy poorly responsive to all other treatments.


Madeleine Sharp, Manouchehr Javidan. Immunomodulation in adult epilepsy: the role of IVIG. The Canadian journal of neurological sciences. Le journal canadien des sciences neurologiques. 2012 Sep;39(5):584-91

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PMID: 22931698

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