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 involved,” said Jacques Michaud, pediatrician at CHU Sainte-Justine and Professor of Pediatrics and Neuroscience at the Faculty of Medicine of Université de Montreal. “Each child can have different genetic mutations. Often the clinical symptoms do not clearly reflect the cause of epilepsy, which makes choosing the right treatment more difficult.”
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.
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 new light on the mechanism behind seizures associated with post-traumatic epilepsy and psychogenic nonepileptic seizures. The $3.6 million award, W81XWH-17-1-0619 will examine whether a form of cognitive behavior therapy, a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy approach to problem-solving, could be effective in reducing the frequency and/or severity of seizures in those with TBI. Cognitive...
Brain surgery for children whose epilepsy is resistant to drug therapy can produce a 10-fold increase in the odds of being seizure-free after one year and can do it without affecting IQ, according to a new Indian study of 116 patients in The New England Journal of Medicine Seventy-seven percent of the children were free of seizures at one year after the surgery, compared with seven percent in a control group of youngsters who received medical therapy alone while waiting for surgery. Behavior and quality of life also improved.
Epilepsy is a condition where the nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed. Epilepsy is a disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations and sometimes loss of consciousness. People with epilepsy behave differently. Some simply stare blankly for a few seconds during a seizure, while others repeatedly twitch their arms or legs. You need to have two unprovoked seizures to be diagnosed with epilepsy. All seizures need to be treated because they can be dangerous during activities such as driving or swimming.
Several new Australian-developed medicines showing promise treating childhood epilepsy, stroke and autoimmune diseases have emerged from an unusual source: the fangs of venomous creatures. Big pharmaceutical companies are excited by results showing these new venom-drugs are often superior to man-made drugs, and they are starting to pour money into research.
“In a recently conducted survey by the Dravet Syndrome Foundation, 74 percent of caregivers expressed concerns about the emotional impact on siblings of children with Dravet syndrome, and the interim results from the Sibling Voices Survey are a significant advancement in our understanding of the far-reaching implications that severe childhood epilepsies have on the lives of siblings and loved ones,” said Nicole Villas, President & Scientific Director of the Dravet Syndrome Foundation Board of Directors. “We are optimistic that the insights gained from the Sibling Voices Survey will assist in the development of tools to help families, and we are grateful for Zogenix’s dedication to addressing the unmet needs of this patient community.”
Seizure disorders — including epilepsy — are associated with pathological hyperexcitability in brain neurons. Unfortunately, there are limited available treatments that can prevent this hyperexcitability. However, University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have found that inducing a biochemical alteration in brain proteins via the dietary supplement glucosamine was able to rapidly dampen that pathological hyperexcitability in rat and mouse models. These results, seen in animal models, represent a potentially novel therapeutic target for the treatment of seizure disorders.
A new study in Neuron focuses on the role that a lack of the protein “CLOCK” plays in several forms of epilepsy. The study provides evidence that excessive excitation of specific brain cells may be due to a lack of CLOCK in the region of the brain that produces the seizures. This effect, researchers found, is stronger during sleep.The finding potentially gives researchers a new way to develop a treatment for some cases of the most severe cases of the disabling disorder, said corresponding author Dr. Judy Liu, a new Assistant Professor of Neurology at Brown University. Because the study directly implicates a specific protein pathway in a specific part of a patient’s brain, Liu said a strategy for further research could be to deliver a drug that compensates for the lack of ...
The team plans to continue using its improved organoids to better understand human brain development and to learn more about autism spectrum disorders, epilepsy and other neurological conditions. UCLA researchers have developed an improved technique for creating simplified human brain tissue from stem cells. Because these so-called “mini brain organoids” mimic human brains in how they grow and develop, they’re vital to studying complex neurological diseases. In a study published in the journal Cell Reports, the researchers used the organoids to better understand how Zika infects and damages fetal brain tissue, which enabled them to identify drugs that could prevent the virus’s damaging effects.
Treatment with cannabidiol reduces some major symptoms in mice with a genetic condition recapitulating Dravet syndrome, a devastating childhood brain disorder. Cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating substance among the several active compounds derived from Cannabis plants. This molecule can also be produced synthetically. The results of its use to treat Dravet syndrome are reported in the latest edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS.
Febrile seizures (febrile convulsions) are fits (sic – Seizures) that can happen when a child has fever. They are the most common type of seizure in paediatric age group. They most commonly happen between the ages of 6 months to 6 years. The cumulative incidence is estimated about 5-7% and the peak incidence is noted at 18 months of age. It can be frightening and distressing to see your child having a seizure (fits), particularly if it is the first episode they are witnessing.