Epilepsy Research News -- ScienceDaily
Specific set of nerve cells controls epileptic seizures' spread through brain
Experimental activation of a small set of nerve cells in the brain prevents convulsive seizures in a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy, the most common form of epilepsy among human adults.
Can learning stress-reducing techniques help reduce seizures£
Learning techniques to help manage stress may help people with epilepsy reduce how often they have seizures, according to a new study.
Which commonly prescribed drug is more effective for infants with epilepsy£
Levetiracetam was found to be superior to phenobarbital as initial monotherapy for infants with nonsyndromic epilepsy.
Apgar scores in neonates predict risk of CP and epilepsy
An infant’s scores on the so-called Apgar scale can predict the risk of a later diagnosis of cerebral palsy or epilepsy. The risk rises with decreasing  Apgar score, but even slightly lowered scores can be linked to a higher risk of these diagnoses, according to an extensive observational study.
Engineer locates brain's seizure onset zone in record time
An engineer can locate the brain's zone that creates seizures in record time -- one hour rather than the typical ten days. The new method potentially reduces complications, time and money.
Tickling the brain with electrical stimulation improves memory
Tickling the brain with low-intensity electrical stimulation in a specific area can improve verbal short-term memory.
Cannabidiol may help to reduce seizures for people with treatment-resistant form of epilepsy, study suggests
Treatment with a pharmaceutical formulation of cannabidiol alongside other anti-epilepsy treatments helped to reduce the number of drop seizures -- seizures which involve sudden falls due to loss of muscle tone -- in people with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome who did not respond to previous treatment, according to a recent phase 3 randomized clinical trial.
Epilepsy linked to brain volume and thickness differences
Epilepsy is associated with thickness and volume differences in the grey matter of several brain regions, according to new research. The largest-ever neuroimaging study of people with epilepsy, shows that epilepsy involves more widespread physical differences than previously assumed, even in types of epilepsy that are typically considered to be more benign if seizures are under control.
Are there signs of CTE in the brain tissue of younger people with epilepsy£
Younger adults with difficult-to-treat epilepsy may have early signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in their brain tissue, but it appears to be uncommon, according to a small, preliminary study.
Epileptic seizures and depression may share a common genetic cause, study suggests
From the time of Hippocrates, physicians have suspected a link between epilepsy and depression. Now, for the first time, scientists have found evidence that seizures and mood disorders such as depression may share the same genetic cause in some people with epilepsy, which may lead to better screening and treatment to improve patients' quality of life.
Monthly brain cycles predict seizures in patients with epilepsy
Neurologists have discovered monthly cycles of brain activity linked to seizures in patients with epilepsy. The finding suggests it may soon be possible for clinicians to identify when patients are at highest risk for seizures, allowing patients to plan around these brief but potentially dangerous events.
Topiramate in early pregnancy increases risk of oral clefts
A new study suggests that using topiramate in early pregnancy, particularly at the high doses used for epilepsy, increases the risk of oral clefts.
Brain waves may predict and potentially prevent epilepsy
The findings demonstrate how using EEGs to identify changes in brain wave patterns over time can predict which post-injury patients will develop epilepsy.
Presurgical imaging may predict whether epilepsy surgery will work
A statistical approach to combining presurgical PET scans and functional MRI of the brain may help predict which patients with drug-resistant epilepsy are most likely to benefit from surgery.
Rheumatoid arthritis during pregnancy may increase chronic disease risk in children
New research reveals that children born to women with rheumatoid arthritis face an increased susceptibility for certain chronic diseases.
Seizure study sheds light on lasting brain effects in children
Prolonged convulsive seizures in childhood could be linked to the development of other brain conditions, a study suggests.
Eight new epilepsy genes discovered
A new study examining 200 children with epileptic encephalopathy – epilepsy combined with intellectual or overall developmental disability –identified eight new genes involved in this type of epilepsy thanks to their use of whole-genome sequencing, which had never been done before in an epileptic study of this scope.
Inexplicable spasms can now be explained with hormones
Too low a level of a hormone in the blood which protects against stress may be the cause of epilepsy-like seizures which doctors had otherwise believed had solely psychological causes. New research results may help to improve the diagnosis and treatment of an otherwise mystifying disorder.
Largest ever collection of patient data of inherited epilepsy conditions
Researchers have joined up with five other centers from around the world to compile the biggest recorded collection of families with forms of epilepsy where genetics may play a part in the recurring feature of the condition.
Wristband devices detect dangerous seizures in patients with epilepsy
New research indicates that wristband devices may improve the detection and characterization of seizures in patients with epilepsy.
New method to dampen nerve signals
Researchers have discovered a previously unknown molecular binding site that can influence electrical impulses in nerves. The discovery opens the possibility of designing new types of drugs against conditions such as epilepsy.
Mechanism explains how seizures may lead to memory loss
A team of researchers reveals a mechanism that can explain how even relatively infrequent seizures can lead to long-lasting cognitive deficits in animal models.
Lack of CLOCK protein appears key in severe epilepsy forms
Some children with epilepsy lack a protein called CLOCK, which appears to disrupt the inhibition of excitatory neurons in the brain region where their seizures originate, a new study has found.
Cannabidiol benefits and mechanisms shown in mouse study of Dravet syndrome
Cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating derivative from cannabis, has been shown to reduce seizures and autism-like behaviors in a mouse model of a genetic disorder, Dravet syndrome. Children with this devastating condition have difficult-to-treat epilepsy, cognitive impairments, and problems with social interactions. The researchers also studied how therapeutic effects of cannabidiol relate to changes in signaling between certain brain neurons.
Cooling treatment reduces epilepsy in children
Cooling babies deprived of oxygen at birth (perinatal asphyxia) can reduce the number of children who develop epilepsy later in childhood, according to a new study.
Stimuli fading away en route to consciousness
Whether or not we consciously perceive the stimuli projected onto our retina is decided in our brain. A recent study shows how some signals dissipate along the processing path to conscious perception. This process begins at rather late stages of signal processing. By contrast, in earlier stages there is hardly any difference in the reaction of neurons to conscious and unconscious stimuli.
Local epileptic seizure shows long distance interaction
An epileptic seizure may be highly local, but it also influences brain activity at a distance of over ten centimeters from the core. This, in turn, affects the active area, scientists report.
Memory decline after head injury may be prevented by slowing brain cell growth
Scientists say a new study indicates that the excessive burst of new brain cells after a traumatic head injury that researchers have traditionally believed helped in recovery could instead lead to epileptic seizures and long-term cognitive decline.
Brain activity between seizures informs potential treatment for childhood absence epilepsy
New research shows that in a mouse model of childhood absence epilepsy, brain activity is perturbed between seizures. The researchers speculate that this could underlie cognitive problems of the disease, which can persist despite treatment of seizures.
Brain regions most likely to cause epilepsy seizures
Scientists have developed a new way to detect which areas of the brain contribute most greatly to epilepsy seizures, according to a new study. The strategy could help surgeons select specific brain areas for removal to stop seizures.
Estrogen-mediated brain protection directly linked to intake of fatty acids found in oils
Scientists are increasingly appreciating estrogen's role in brain health. The latest research connecting DHA synthesis to estrogen production, and consequentially brain health, backs up further the old adage that a daily intake of fish oil is good for you.
Compound derived from marijuana interacts with antiepileptic drugs
New research suggests that an investigational neurological treatment derived from cannabis may alter the blood levels of commonly used antiepileptic drugs.
In the test tube instead of under the knife
New forms of diagnosis and therapy for temporal lobe epilepsy have now been revealed by a team of neuroscientists.
Collaboration between pet owners, vets and researchers helps dogs and children with a rare and severe epilepsy
New hope is being given to children who suffer from a rare and severe form of epilepsy, thanks to new, unique research.
Genetic testing helps detect cause of early life epilepsy
A new study supports routine genetic testing for initial evaluation of seizures as the first step toward precision medicine and improved outcomes.
A rogue gene is causing seizures in babies
Two rare diseases caused by a malfunctioning gene that triggers seizures or involuntary movements in children as early as a few days old have left scientists searching for answers and better treatment options. Researchers are closer to understanding the source, a gene known as GNAO1 and the transformations it can take on, and potentially stopping its devastating effects by uncovering key differences in the way it functions.
Despite lack of efficacy data, surprising consensus in pediatric anti-epilepsy med scripts
A new study indicates that US doctors appear to have reached an unexpected consensus about which anti-seizure medicine to prescribe to their pediatric patients.
Epilepsy biomarkers pave way for noninvasive diagnosis, better treatments
A unique metabolic signature associated with epileptic brain tissue that causes seizures has been identified by researchers. It will allow physicians to precisely identify small regions of abnormal brain tissue in early-stage epilepsy patients that can’t be detected today using current technology, they say.
Seizures follow similar path regardless of speed
Researchers show that the neurons of mice undergoing seizures fire off in a sequential pattern no matter how quickly the seizure propagates -- a finding that confirms seizures are not the result of neurons randomly going haywire.
Brain damage can make sideways faces more memorable, and give us 'emotion blindness'
People with damage to a crucial part of the brain fail to recognize facial emotions, but they unexpectedly find faces looking sideways more memorable researchers have found.
Micro-gene protects brain from developing epilepsy
Increased levels of a micro-RNA could have a protective effect that explains why identical stressors trigger seizures in some people but not in others.
Cannabidiol reduces seizures in children with severe epilepsy
Children with Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy, had fewer seizures after taking a daily oral solution of the cannabis compound called cannabidiol, which does not have the psychoactive properties of marijuana, results from a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial reveal.
Benefits of medical marijuana for treatment of epilepsy examined
Although cannabis had been used for many centuries for treatment of seizure disorders, medical use became prohibited in the 20th century. However, with the loosening of laws regarding medical marijuana, research and clinical use of marijuana-derived substances are increasing. This has prompted the publishing of an in-depth assessment of the potential of cannabinoids for the effective treatment of epilepsy. Cannabinoids are components of the cannabis plant.
Pinpointing where seizures are coming from, by looking between the seizures
A computational approach could enable more patients with epilepsy to benefit from surgery when medications do not help, report investigators.
Silent seizures recorded in the hippocampus of two patients with Alzheimer's disease
Investigators have identified silent, seizure-like activity in the hippocampus -- a brain structure significantly affected in Alzheimer's disease -- in two patients with Alzheimer's disease and no known history of seizures. These alterations in the brain's electrical activity could not be detected by standard EEG readings and primarily occurred during sleep, a time when memories are consolidated.
New analysis of brain network activity offers unique insight into epileptic seizures
Little is known about which specific areas of the brain contribute to a patient's epileptic network or the roles these different areas play. As a group of researchers now reports one way to get closer to the complex wiring of the human brain is by merging concepts from a timed-based synchronization theory and space-based network theory to construct functional brain networks.
Young adults with uncomplicated epilepsy fare as well as their siblings
A 15-year follow-up study of young adults with epilepsy found that those with uncomplicated epilepsy who were seizure-free for five years or more did as well as their siblings without epilepsy in measures of education, employment, family arrangements and driving status. Youth with complicated epilepsy had worse social outcomes and were less likely to drive, even if living without seizures.
Cannabis-based medicine may cut seizures in half for those with tough-to-treat epilepsy
Taking cannabidiol may cut seizures in half for some children and adults with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), a severe form of epilepsy, according to new information from a large scale controlled clinical study. Cannabidiol is a molecule from the cannabis plant that does not have the psychoactive properties that create a 'high.'
Genetic basis for drug response in childhood absence epilepsy
Consider two children who have childhood absence epilepsy (CAE), the most common form of pediatric epilepsy. They both take the same drug -- one child sees an improvement in their seizures, but the other does not. A new study has identified the genes that may underlie this difference in treatment outcomes, suggesting there may be potential for using a precision medicine approach to help predict which drugs will be most effective to help children with CAE.
Stress a common seizure trigger in epilepsy, study affirms
The relationship between stress and seizures has been well documented over the last 50 years. A recent review article looks at the stress-seizure relationship and how adopting stress reduction techniques may provide benefit as a low risk form of treatment.
Research team develops first-of-a-kind model to research post-malaria epilepsy
A first-of-its-kind mouse model could lead to an understanding of how cerebral malaria infection leads to the development of epilepsy in children, and to the prevention of seizures. The model -- a way for researchers to simulate the effects of malaria in children by using mice -- was developed in a collaboration between researchers of medicine, engineering, science and agriculture.
Cannabis use in people with epilepsy revealed: Australian survey
The first Australian nationwide survey on the experiences and opinions of medicinal cannabis use in people with epilepsy has revealed that 14 per cent of people with epilepsy have used cannabis products as a way to manage seizures. The study showed that of those with a history of cannabis product use, 90 per cent of adults and 71 per cent of parents of children with epilepsy reported success in managing seizures after commencing using cannabis products.
Researchers find neurological link between religious experiences and epilepsy
A relationship between epilepsy and heightened religious experiences has been recognized since at least the 19th century. In a recent study, researchers found a neurological relationship exists between religiosity -- a disposition for spiritual experience and religious activity -- and epilepsy. This finding sheds light on the connection between religion and neuropsychological processes within the human brain.
Statistics method shows networks differ in epileptic brains
A novel statistical approach to analyzing data from patients with epilepsy reveals details about their brains' internal networks.
Lack of oxygen, not excessive stimulation, cause for half of seizure-related brain damage in epilepsy
Neuronal degeneration is the most severe long-term consequence of repetitive seizures in patients with epilepsy, which until now was thought to be primarily caused by excitotoxicity, or over-stimulation of the neurons. New findings indicate hypoxia, or lack of oxygen, due to abnormal blood flow may be to blame for as much as half the neuronal death caused by the condition.
New mech­an­ism un­der­ly­ing epi­lepsy found
Prolonged epileptic seizures may cause serious problems that will continue for the rest of a patient’s life. As a result of a seizure, neural connections of the brain may be rewired in an incorrect way. This may result in seizures that are difficult to control with medication. Mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are not entirely known, which makes current therapies ineffective in some patients.
Ketogenic diet shown safe, effective option for some with rare and severest form of epilepsy
In a small phase I and II clinical trial, researchers and colleagues elsewhere found that the high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet was a safe and effective treatment option for the majority of adults experiencing a relatively rare, often fatal and always severe form of epilepsy marked by prolonged seizures that require medically induced comas to prevent them from further damaging the body and the brain.
Seizures tracked with Apple Watch app linked to stress, missed sleep
New research using an Apple Watch app to track seizures in people with epilepsy finds triggers are often stress and missed sleep, according to a preliminary study.
MRI-guided laser surgery proving effective for some epilepsy patients
The MRI-guided laser ablation method is far less invasive and time-consuming than conventional surgery and has produced good results for people with medial temporal lobe epilepsy, report investigators.
Anti-epilepsy medicine taken by pregnant women does not harm the child's overall health
Previous studies have shown that anti-epilepsy medicine may lead to congenital malformations in the fetus and that the use of anti-epilepsy medicine during pregnancy affects the development of the brain among the children. There is still a lack of knowledge in the area about the general health of children who are exposed to anti-epilepsy medicine in fetal life. But this new study is generally reassuring for women who need to take anti-epilepsy medicine during their pregnancy.
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