by Alex Boesch, Student Public Relations Writer
It is essential for health care professionals to prescribe the best possible medications to their patients. For this reason, Dr. McKenzie Grinalds, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, led a study on treatments for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy, revealing gaps in current medical knowledge that future researchers must explore.
Her research provided an overview of existing medical research on polytherapy (a combination of medicines) for patients with a form of epilepsy that cannot be controlled with a single medication. This research can be used by doctors to determine what medical combinations are safe and effective.
“About 25-30% of patients with epilepsy have drug-resistant epilepsy, so it does impact a large population of people,” said Grinalds. “I want to help medical teams make informed decisions about what medications might help their patients.”
Dr. Aleda Chen, associate dean and associate professor of pharmacy practice, and Dr. Denise Rhoney of the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy joined Grinalds in the research. They were also assisted by Cedarville pharmacy students Caleb Yoder of Wheaton, Illinois, and Zach Krauss of Springfield, Ohio. Yoder is in his second year in the graduate program, and Krauss will graduated in May 2023.
According to Grinalds, the study observed three outcomes of polytherapy: clinical (success of medications), humanistic (such as quality of life or impact on sleep) and economic (cost to patient and health care system). While a perfect blend of medications is still unclear, the study revealed gaps in research surrounding polytherapy and called on other researchers to explore its benefits.
“We summarized the research to provide a better medical consensus,” said Grinalds. “We found that monotherapy with a single medicine is ideal, but polytherapy can still be necessary.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 5,082 undergraduate, graduate, and dual enrolled high school students in more than 175 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Doctor of Pharmacy program, high graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and the #4 national ranking by the Wall Street Journal for student engagement. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.