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Scientists identify eight new genes involved in epileptic encephalopathy

Approximately 30 per cent of patients with epilepsy do not respond to anti-epileptic drugs. In these cases, all neurologists can do is attempt to find the right combination of medication through trial and error.  A treatment that could target the root cause of epilepsy is a beacon of hope for these patients.  But identifying the cause of the pathology is no easy feat.   “There are many genes...

FDA Approves Oral Lacosamide (Vimpat) for Children With Epilepsy

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved use of the antiepileptic drug lacosamide (Vimpat, UCB) in tablets and oral solution (not intravenous injection) in children as young as 4 years with partial-onset seizures (POS), the company has announced. The FDA approved lacosamide in 2009 as adjunctive therapy and 2014 as monotherapy for adults with POS.   The expanded FDA indication f...

Spacing out after staying up late? Here’s why

UCLA-led study blames mental lapses on sleep-deprived brain cells   Ever sleep poorly and then walk out of the house without your keys? Or space out while driving to work and nearly hit a stalled car?   A new study led by UCLA’s Dr. Itzhak Fried is the first to reveal how sleep deprivation disrupts brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other. Fried and his colleagues believe that...

“A significant event”: CBD-based pharma drug Epidiolex presented to FDA for approval

A CBD-based pharmaceutical drug in development is one more step closer to potential FDA approval. Earlier this week, London-based GW Pharmaceuticals plc, which operates in the United States as Greenwich Biosciences, wrapped up its New Drug Application for Epidiolex, a formulation of the cannabis compound cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of seizures associated with two specific types of epilepsy...

Non-Epileptic Seizures Tied to Less Stress-Reducing Hormone

A new Danish study finds that people who suffer from psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) — a condition characterized by spasms similar to epileptic seizures but which are unexplained and untreatable — have a lower level of the hormone neuropeptide Y (NPY) in their blood.   NPY is a hormone associated with an increased resilience for dealing with stress.

What is CBD oil? Everything to know about the latest health trend

It’s a buzzy trend in the wellness world, and while CBD is one of the compounds found in the cannabis plant, don’t worry — it won’t get you high. Here’s what you need to know about the latest ingredient everyone’s talking about.   What is CBD? CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of the many cannabinoids, or chemical compounds, found in marijuana and hemp...

CBD oil reduced toddler’s seizures. Still, state threatened to take away child, mother says

The parents of a 20-month-old girl say Indiana child welfare authorities threatened to take the child away from them because they chose to treat her epilepsy with a legal cannabis extract.   Lelah Jerger, the child’s mother, said personnel at Riley Hospital for Children reported her to Indiana’s Child Protective Services after she and her husband decided to use cannabidiol oil, or...

Wristband devices detect dangerous seizures in patients with epilepsy

New research published in Epilepsia, a journal of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), indicates that wristband devices may improve the detection and characterization of seizures in patients with epilepsy. New devices are needed for monitoring epileptic seizures, especially those that can lead to sudden death. While rare, “sudden unexpected death in epilepsy” (SUDEP) is th...

In the grip of a drugs crisis – Including Epilepsy Medications

Thousands of people are addicted to a range of drugs originally licensed to treat epilepsy and nerve pain, a Devon doctor warns. Drugs such as gabapentin and pregablin are being prescribed for conditions ranging from anxiety to all sorts of chronic pain, Richard Byng, professor in primary care research at Plymouth University and a General Practitioner (GP) in the city, said.   He is calling f...

Marijuana compounds made in GM yeast could help epilepsy

Cell-sized cannabis factories could soon be producing medical treatments for epilepsy.   A non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana plants called cannabidivarin (CBDV) has shown promise in the treatment of severe cases of epilepsy. However, to treat just 10 per cent of people with epilepsy would require around 1500 tonnes (tons) of pure CBDV.   To obtain this amount using current met...

New study hopes to shed light on mechanism behind epileptic and non-epileptic seizures

Seizures are a common result of traumatic brain injury, especially in military veterans. A new study funded by the DOD, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, and conducted in Providence RI and Birmingham AL (at the Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in Providence, RI and Birmingham, AL, Rhode Island Hospital, Brown University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham) hopes to shed n...

These Neurons are Alive and Firing. And You Can Watch Them In 3-D

For patients with epilepsy, or cancerous brain lesions, sometimes the only way to forward is down. Down past the scalp and into the skull, down through healthy grey matter to get at a tumor or the overactive network causing seizures. At the end of the surgery, all that extra white and grey matter gets tossed in the trash or an incinerator. Well, not all of it. At least, not in Seattle.   &nbs...

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