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Epilepsy

Epilepsy biomarkers pave way for noninvasive diagnosis, better treatments

Researchers have identified a unique metabolic signature associated with epileptic brain tissue that causes seizures. The chemical biomarker can be detected noninvasively using technology based on magnetic resonance imaging. 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. The biomarker could also be used to localize epileptic brain regions for therapeutic removal without the need for additional surgery.

Potential Surgery Treatment for Certain Epilepsy Patients, Review Says

A technique called MRI-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (MgLiTT) may be a potential treatment for epilepsy patients, according to a recent review. Researchers say that MgLiTT may be a particularly viable option for patients whose seizures are caused by tumor-like bodies affecting the hypothalamus, which are difficult to treat with traditional surgery.

Health & Wellness: Detecting childhood epilepsy — it’s not their attention span

Sometimes Shelby would be there, but not “all there.” At the dinner table, her parents and siblings would catch her “zoning out”; she’d stop paying attention to the conversation and need to be jostled back to focus. They’d chide her for being so rude, then continue with their meal. It was just one of her quirks, they reasoned, and she’d grow out of it eventually.

Surgery in Older Patients with Drug-resistant Focal Epilepsy Still Effective, Study Finds

Researchers studied the medical records of patients with drug-resistant focal epilepsy who underwent surgery for the disorder at the age of 50 or older and found that the treatment was as effective as it was for patients younger than 50. However, there was a higher risk of complications from the procedure.

Stereo EEG provides a deep, detailed map of the brain as physicians evaluate patients for the surgical treatment of epilepsy.

For patients that find their seizures difficult to manage on medications, other treatment options such as diet, devices or surgery may be beneficial. Dr. Amy Crepeau, neurologist at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, discusses the evaluation of patients with epilepsy using brain mapping technology.

What is the vagus nerve?

The vagus nerve is the longest and most complex of the 12 pairs of cranial nerves that emanate from the brain. It transmits information to or from the surface of the brain to tissues and organs elsewhere in the body. The name “vagus” comes from the Latin term for “wandering.” This is because the vagus nerve wanders from the brain into organs in the neck, chest, and abdomen.

Nearly Half of Persons With Epilepsy Forget to Take Their Meds at Least Once a Month, Poll Shows

Almost half of epilepsy patients surveyed in a British poll say they’ve forgotten to take their medications at least once in the past month. Researchers at Epilepsy Research UK wanted to know how meticulously people receiving their newsletter adhere to medication regimes. They stress, however, that these results pertain to a sample of 125 respondents and that the poll is still active. Medication adherence is an important healthcare problem worldwide. According to a news release, across all fields of medicine, up to 75 percent of people don’t take their medicines properly. In epilepsy, forgetting to take anti-epileptic drugs could lead to seizures. Respondents were asked to estimate for themselves how many times in the last month they had forgotten to take their medication at all – or had t...

Opinion: It’s time to bring epilepsy awareness out of the dark ages

It is one of the most common brain ailments, affecting over 65 million people globally, and yet it remains shrouded in stigma and ignorance. Epilepsy: a disease that is as old as civilization itself. According to Epilepsy Canada, tablets regarding medical records from Babylonia dating to 2000 BC accurately describe the different types of epileptic seizures. In Canada, it is estimated that around 139,200 people have epilepsy. The good news is that according to a Statistics Canada survey, 39 per cent of those living independently with epilepsy say it does not affect their life at all. An estimated 44 per cent suggest that epilepsy has little or only a moderate effect on their lives. However, 18 per cent say that epilepsy has affected them quite a bit. The bad news is that in the same survey,...

Epilepsy Patients More Likely to Have Been Abused as Children, Study Finds

Childhood abuse, both sexual and emotional, is more frequently reported in epilepsy patients when compared to the general population, according to the results of a German study. These findings are in agreement with previous studies and highlight the need for additional vigilance on the familiar settings of children with epilepsy.

A Chronic Childhood Illness Like Epilepsy Could Increase Risk of Adult Depression, Study Reports

Chronic childhood illnesses such as epilepsy could increase the risk that a person will develop clinical depression as an adult, according to new research. The study, “Research Review: Childhood chronic physical illness and adult emotional health – a systematic review and meta-analysis,” was published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Researchers Identify New Link Between Gene Expression and Brain Memory Processing

Researchers at the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas have discovered that more than 100 genes are linked to memory processing in the brain. The discovery could lead to the development of new therapies for memory-associated conditions such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and others, the study’s authors said.

Epilepsy and natural treatments: Can they help?

Epilepsy is a disease that disrupts the electrical activity of the nervous system, causing seizures. More than 65 million people in the world have epilepsy. 1 in 26 Americans will develop the disease during their lives. Children are the group most frequently diagnosed with new cases of epilepsy. In the United States, 300,000 children under 14 are affected by the condition. Some may outgrow the disorder, but most will not. The number of senior citizens with epilepsy is also 300,000. People with epilepsy have a range of treatment options, including alternative therapies. The illness is a complex condition, however, and all alternative treatment options must be looked at carefully, to ensure they are effective. Causes of epilepsy Epilepsy is a complex disease that can disrupt the electrical a...

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