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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.

How an autism gene mutation alters brain development

By analyzing the brains of mice, researchers have discovered how mutations in a gene called CHD8 may alter brain development and cognitive functioning to cause autism. Researchers from the United States and Canada found that CHD8 gene mutations altered gene expression in mice, impairing their cognitive functioning and increasing brain volume. Both of these characteristics are present in humans with autism who have CHD8 gene mutations.

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,...

Valproic Acid Concentration Drops With Ketogenic Diet

For patients with epilepsy, anti-epileptic drug serum concentrations remain stable during the ketogenic diet, apart from those of valproic acid, according to a study published online June 18 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. Changes in serum concentrations of other anti-epileptic drugs not found to be significant. For patients with epilepsy, anti-epileptic drug serum concentrations remain stable during the ketogenic diet (KD), apart from those of valproic acid, according to a study published online June 18 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

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.

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...

Bad Weather May Increase Risk of Seizures in People with Epilepsy, Study Suggests

Low pressure and high humidity—conditions associated with thunderstorms—may put people with epilepsy at higher risk of a seizure. That’s according to a study published online on May 28 in Epilepsia.

Noninvasive Deep Brain Stimulation Can Become Reality, Mouse Study Shows

Researchers have, for the first time, showed that it is possible to stimulate structures deep within the brain without the need for implanted electrodes — opening the possibility that epilepsy patients could receive deep brain stimulation in a noninvasive manner. The method applies scalp electrodes that send two currents into the brain. Brain cells only become stimulated in the spot where the two currents intersect, making it possible to easily change the exact size and location of the treatment.

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