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Childhood Epilepsy

‘Minibrains’ In A Dish Shed A Little Light On Autism And Epilepsy

Tiny, 3-D clusters of human brain cells grown in a petri dish are providing hints about the origins of disorders like autism and epilepsy. An experiment using these cell clusters — which are only about the size of the head of a pin — found that a genetic mutation associated with both autism and epilepsy kept developing cells from migrating normally from one cluster of brain cells to another, researchers report in the journal Nature.

Orphan Drug Designation From the U.S. FDA for EPX-100 and EPX-200 in the Treatment of Patients With Dravet Syndrome

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Orphan Drug Designation to EPX-100 and EPX-200 for the treatment of patients with Dravet syndrome. Dravet Syndrome qualifies as a rare pediatric disease under Section 529 of Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The rare, catastrophic, lifelong form of epilepsy begins in the first year of life with frequent or prolonged seizures. Intellectual disability, behavioral abnormalities, gait and motor dysfunction, and increased mortality are commonly observed as the disease progresses. Patients with Dravet Syndrome also suffer with life-threatening seizures that cannot be adequately controlled by available medications, and face a 15-20 percent mortality rate due to SUDEP (Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy), seizure-related accidents such as drowning, o...

Youth with uncomplicated epilepsy have favorable social outcomes 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. Results were published in the journal Epilepsia.

New Guideline Published on Uncommon Risk of Death in Epilepsy American Academy of Neurology

There is an uncommon risk of death that people with epilepsy and their loved ones may not know about. The risk is called sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, or SUDEP. Now the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the American Epilepsy Society have co-developed a new guideline on SUDEP, published in the April 24, 2017, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, and presented at the 69th AAN Annual Meeting in Boston, April 22 to 28, 2017. The guideline is endorsed by the International Child Neurology Association. SUDEP is when someone with epilepsy who is otherwise healthy dies suddenly with no known cause.

How to Choose a Medical Alert System

As technology advances, the range of options has grown! I have had many caregivers, parents and loved ones, ask me over the years what kind of Medical Alert/Monitoring Systems are there for someone with epilepsy.  Yes, some do work for a person with epilepsy.  There are a wide range of them today you can research and look at from personal emergency response systems, sleep monitors, watches and more that can offer piece of mind.

Cannabidiol May Reduce Seizures by Half in Hard-to-treat Epilepsy

Promising results from a large-scale, controlled, Phase 3 clinical study of epilepsy patients being treated with cannabidiol will be presented next week at the American Academy of Neurology’s Annual Meeting in Boston on April 25. GW Pharmaceuticals’ liquid oral formulation of cannabidiol (CBD), called Epidiolex, is one of 500 compounds found in cannabis. Unlike the well-known compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not produce a “high” as the psychoactive component is absent. Results from the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that almost 40 percent of people with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) had at least a 50 percent reduction in drop seizures, compared to 15 percent taking a placebo. LGS is a severe form of epilepsy that often results in impaired intellectua...

Epilepsy: Another potential Zika threat to babies

Beyond its known links to birth defects and other problems, the Zika virus may also trigger cases of epilepsy in infants, warn experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among 48 babies from Brazil with probable congenital Zika infection, “50 percent reportedly had clinical seizures,” said Dr. Daniel Pastula, Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp and Rosemarie Kobau. All three have studied Zika at the CDC, and co-wrote an essay on the Zika-epilepsy connection, published online April 17 in JAMA Neurology. The Zika virus is transmitted via mosquito bites, and its most devastating effects occur when pregnant women are infected. In those cases, Zika can trigger severe neurological birth defects such as microcephaly, where infants are born with underdeveloped skulls a...

Study finds 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 in the Annals of Neurology 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. The study was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), both part of the National Institutes of Health. “A better understanding of genetic factors underlying a disease and the way t...

Pregnancy weight linked to epilepsy: study

Babies born to severely obese, or grade III obesity, was associated with an 82 per cent increased risk of epilepsy.   A study of almost 1.5 million children has found the risk of epilepsy almost doubled among those born to severely obese mothers.   Being overweight during the first trimester of pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of childhood epilepsy.   A Swedish study of almost 1.5 million babies found the risk of epilepsy almost doubled from normal-weight women to very severely obese women.   Epilepsy disrupts the normal electrochemical activity of the brain resulting seizures.   The cause of this debilitating and often hard-to-treat condition is poorly understood.   With obesity on the rise, there is growing concern about the long-term neurological effects of children expose...

The Different Kind of Worried You Feel When Your Child Has Epilepsy

My Daughter Salina had a seizure at school the other day. He was wide awake at the time. That’s a first because until that day, he’d only ever had seizures in his sleep. I’m not sure what this means. My husband says it’s probably a one-time thing, nothing to worry about. But in our experience with epilepsy, there’s no such thing as a one-time thing.

Good news for kids with epilepsy

There’s good news for kids with epilepsy. While several new drugs have come out in the last several years for adults with epilepsy, making those drugs available for children and teenagers has been delayed due to the challenges of testing new drugs on children. But an analysis of all the research published on adults and children shows that the positive results seen in adults appear to be similar in children. The preliminary meta-analysis was released today and will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 69th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 22 to 28, 2017.

Drug Developed Thanks to Zebrafish Epilepsy Research Reaches Clinical Trials

We have been posting about using Zebrafish to model epilepsy treatment since 2013, and about the potential for treatments to be developed from these models. Fast forward to 2017, and we have a viable treatment in clinical trials! Via News Medical: New drug discovered in zebrafish model of pediatric epilepsy shows promising results in clinical study “Bench-to-bedside” describes research that has progressed from basic science in animal models that has led to therapies used in patients. Now, a study in the journal Brain describes what could be considered a direct “aquarium-to-bedside” approach, taking a drug discovered in a genetic zebrafish model of epilepsy and testing it, with promising results, in a small number of children with the disease. The study was supported...

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