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Central Nervous System

Contact Us

sanofi-aventis (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. (334110-P)

Unit TB-18-1, Level 18
Tower B, Plaza 33
No.1 Jalan Kemajuan, Seksyen 13
46200 Petaling Jaya

Tel : +603 7651 0800
Fax: +603 7651 0801/2

Content :

Central Nervous System

Central nervous system diseases especially in neurology and psychiatry have had more drugs developed in the last ten years than in a whole century of research.


The progress made in the neurosciences has opened up encouraging prospects for many diseases that had hitherto remained without any satisfactory treatment.

As well as a cornerstone therapy for treating epilepsy, sanofi-aventis medicines for central nervous system disorders range from compounds for stabilising the extreme mood swings associated with bipolar affective disorder to anti-psychotics for controlling the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Bipolar affective disorder

Also known as manic depression, bipolar affective disorder is characterised by severe mood swings between extreme negative feelings (depression) and elation (mania).

The main symptoms of mania are inflated self-esteem, less need for sleep, excessive talking, distractibility and agitation or pleasure seeking. The main symptoms of depression are a loss of interest and energy, increased or decreased appetite, insomnia, inappropriate feelings of guilt or worthlessness, inability to concentrate and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide. However, not all of these symptoms may occur at the same time.

The average age at the initial episode of mania is 19 years and is usually preceded by several bouts of depression, although some people develop mania later in life. Although it often goes undiagnosed, the disorder is thought to affect between 1 and 2% of the population.

A person with the disorder typically suffers from eight to ten manic or depressive episodes during their lifetime. Without treatment, manic episodes last between four and six months on average, but this can be reduced by 75% or more with modern treatment. The average duration of a depressive episode is between six and nine months, but this too can be reduced with treatment. Treatment usually involves a combination of mood stabilising drugs and psychotherapy. ECT treatment can also be effective in some cases.


Epilepsy is the most common serious neurological disorder. Children under 10 and old people are particularly vulnerable. 

It is characterised by repeated spontaneous seizures caused by an excessive discharge of neurons in the brain. Seizures themselves can lead to injury, and the condition often results in a profound loss of self-confidence. There is also a significant mortality associated with epilepsy.

However, with good counselling and treatment (including new techniques of functional cerebral imaging as well as drugs that reduce the incidence of seizures), the vast majority of patients can live normal productive and fulfilling lives. Sanofi-aventis manufactures a broad spectrum anti-epileptic drug that has been available for over 30 years.

Updated August 28, 2009

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