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Epilepsy

How does epilepsy affect the brain and nervous system?

The brain and central nervous system Epilepsy is typically associated with symptoms of seizure. As such, the primary area that the condition affects is the central nervous system. The brain acts as the central hub in the body. Here, all voluntary and involuntary movements are controlled. Normally, electrical activity runs through the body’s nerve cells and assists the brain is sending messages or telling the body how to behave, react or move. Where there is a dysfunction, abnormal signals disrupt this process and cause distress. This brings on seizures:   Generalized seizures: This type involves both sides of the brain and results in loss of consciousness. A person may experience absence seizures or petit mal seizures (lasting about half a minute or less) which cause blank staring (ab...

What Modern Day Challenges Affect Epilepsy Treatment?

Researchers recently published an article in The Lancet Neurology discussing the difficulties facing seizure detection in patients with epilepsy.   Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that is characterised by short repetitive epileptic seizures. These seizures can be harmful to the individual depending on the circumstances in which they occur, such as a seizure while driving. This disorder is set apart from other neurological disorders since there is a broad range of different physiological changes that can cause it, leading to a large variation in symptoms and making it difficult to treat. While 70% of sufferers can be treated with pharmacological agents, 30% have no reliable anti-epileptic drugs that are effective for their particular type of epilepsy.

Antiepileptic drugs linked with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia, says research

According to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, DZNE, antiepileptic drugs are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.   The clinical investigation, led by Heidi Taipale from the University of Eastern Finland, evaluated the data of nearly 100,000 individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease (from Germany and Finland) to see if there was a link between continuous use of antiepileptics and these neurodegenerative diseases and compared it with controls.

Epilepsy tied to severe hypoglycemia in type 2 diabetes

Adults with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk for epilepsy, especially in the presence of severe hypoglycemia, compared with adults without type 2 diabetes, according to findings published in Diabetes Research & Clinical Practice.   Chung-Yi Lu, PhD, professor in the department and graduate Institute of Public Health at the College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan, and colleagues evaluated data from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance claims on 751,792 adults with type 2 diabetes (mean age, 59.51 years; 51% women) and 824,253 matched controls (mean age, 59.47 years; 51% women) identified between 2002 and 2003 to determine the potential link between type 2 diabetes and epilepsy and the role that severe hypoglycemia may play in the relationship. Participants...

Educational Attainment Down With In Utero Exposure to AEDs

Exposure to sodium valproate or a combination of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in utero is associated with worse attainment on national educational tests for 7-year-olds, according to a study published online March 26 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. Arron S. Lacey, from Swansea University Medical School in the United Kingdom, and colleagues identified children born to mothers with epilepsy and linked these children to their national attainment Key Stage 1 (KS1) tests in mathematics, language, and science at age 7. The children were compared with matched children born to mothers without epilepsy.

Student Educates Classmates On Epilepsy

(Special Note: Great job Taylor and we love you using our exclusive EpilepsyStore.com Epilepsy Awareness Purple Ribbon Flag.  Keep up the wonderful work you are doing up there in Canada Taylor!  Love it!  EpilepsyU.com)   A 10-year-old girl is leading her peers in becoming more aware about epilepsy.   Taylor Burk, a Grade 5 student at Indian Creek Road Public School, has been doing announcements at school every day for the past week or so regarding facts on epilepsy. Students who paid attention during the announcements were then given a little “quiz” on Monday — which was also Epilepsy Awareness Day.

Stanford researchers listen for silent seizures with “brain stethoscope” that turns brain waves into sound

By converting brain waves into sound, even non-specialists can detect “silent seizures” – epileptic seizures without the convulsions most of us expect. When a doctor or nurse suspects something is wrong with a patient’s heart, there’s a simple way to check: put a stethoscope over the heart and listen to the sounds it makes. Doctors and nurses can use the same diagnostic tool to figure out what’s going on with the heart, lungs, stomach and more, but not the brain – although that could change with a new device. Josef Parvizi, PHOTO, a professor of neurology, Chris Chafe, a professor of music, and colleagues have tested a method for detecting seizures that transforms brain waves into sound. (Image credit: School of Medicine) Stanford researchers have developed a “brain stethoscope” that can h...

Can MRI Brain Scans Help Us Understand Epilepsy?

A massive meta-analysis of global MRI imaging data on epilepsy patients seeks to clarify a complicated and mysterious neurological disorder. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by seizures, which can vary from mild and almost undetectable to severe, featuring vigorous shaking. Almost 40 million people worldwide are affected by epilepsy. Epileptic seizures are caused by an abnormally high level of activity in nerve cells in the brain. A small number of cases have been tied to a genetic defect, and major trauma to the brain (such as an injury or stroke) can also induce seizures. However, for the majority of cases, the underlying cause of epilepsy is not known. In many instances, epilepsy can be treated with the use of anti-convulsant medication. Some people will experience an i...

What is Status Epilepticus?

Status epilepticus (SE) is an extremely serious and often fatal medical emergency. It may be defined as a continuous seizure which lasts for 30 minutes or more, or as 2 or more seizure episodes without the patient recovering full consciousness in between any 2 episodes.   It is thought to be due to the lack of efficacy of GABA-ergic activity which is typically responsible for terminating abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Once SE is in progress, it should be treated by benzodiazepines, with fosphenytoin being added if required. If the patient does not respond, but has persistent seizures, a second-line drug is administered, such as a barbiturate, Propofol, sodium valproate, levetiracetam or topiramate, according to the situation and the facilities available. The patient must a...

‘Missing mutation’ found in severe infant epilepsy

CHOP Researchers: Findings may pave way for early protective treatments Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia   Researchers have discovered a “missing mutation” in severe infant epilepsy–long-suspected genetic changes that might trigger overactive, brain-damaging electrical signaling leading to seizures They also found early indications that specific anti-seizure medications might prevent disabling brain injury by controlling epilepsy during a crucial period shortly after birth.

Biologists discover link between protein in brain, seizure suppression

Seizure suppression is the focus of an original research article by two members of the Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences—and they have the pictures to prove it.   James Hewett, associate professor of biology, and Yifan Gong, a Ph.D. candidate in biology and neuroscience, have co-authored an article about a protein in the brain called T-cell intracellular antigen-1 (TIA-1). Their article recently made the cover of the prestigious journal Neuroscience.

HOW TO BE A “FRIEND” TO SOMEONE WITH A CHRONIC HEALTH CONDITION

Living with a serious health condition like epilepsy can have a mental and emotional impact. For that person, and a caregiver, staying positive may be very difficult but is an important part in the overall health plan.   As a friend or caregiver here are a few tips:   Help them stay positive and motivated by showing your support Many people living with a chronic disease feelings of helplessness, anxiety or depression. These feelings may make it harder for them to find the motivation to be proactive about managing their condition. You can give them a boost when they’re feeling down, help them develop an action plan, maybe you can help them do something they enjoy so they don’t feel so alone.   Don’t allow them to be a shut-in When someone feels down often they want to be alon...

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