Although it’s been clear that seizures are linked to memory loss and other cognitive deficits in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, how this happens has been puzzling. In a study published in the journal Nature Medicine, a team of researchers reveals a mechanism that can explain how even relatively infrequent seizures can lead to long-lasting cognitive deficits in animal models. A better understanding of this new mechanism may lead to future strategies to reduce cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions associated with seizures, such as epilepsy.
In a pair of studies, scientists at the National Institutes of Health explored how the human brain stores and retrieves memories. One study suggests that the brain etches each memory into unique firing patterns of individual neurons. Meanwhile, the second study The studies were led by Kareem Zaghloul, M.D., Ph.D., a neurosurgeon-researcher at the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Persons with drug resistant epilepsy in protocols studying surgical resection of their seizure focus at the NIH’s Clinical Center enrolled in this study. To help locate the source of the seizures, Dr. Zaghloul’s team surgically implanted a grid of electrodes into the patients’ brains and monitored electrical activity for several days.
A study conducted in the US has hit upon a new strategy to identify genes that underlie specific brain processes, and may eventually help scientists develop treatments for patients with memory impairments. More than 100 genes linked to memory have been identified, paving the way for treatments for conditions like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.
AlDeep in the brains of two patients with Alzheimer’s disease, the main memory structure, the hippocampus, displays episodic seizure-like electrical activity. These non-convulsive hippocampal seizures are the first signs of ‘silent’ brain electrical network dysfunction described in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The discovery, published in the journal Nature Medicine, provides a better understanding of the condition and can potentially lead to new treatments for this devastating disease affecting more than 5 million people in the U.S. “About 10 years ago, we were surprised to find ‘silent seizures’ in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease,” said co-senior author Jeffrey L. Noebels, professor of neurology, neuroscience, and molecular &...
Scientists may have found a way to improve brain connectivity. The findings may boost short-term working memory, and in the future, they may help to repair brain damage in patients with traumatic brain injury, stroke, or epilepsy.
The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) has released the first evidence-based guideline comparing procedures used for determining brain lateralization prior to epilepsy surgery and for predicting post-surgical language and memory deficits.
A study published in Neurology suggests that methylphenidate (Ritalin) may help some cognitive deficits in patients with epilepsy. To compare the potential efficacy of immediate-release methylphenidate (Ritalin) vs. placebo in treating cognitive deficits in epilepsy, researchers conducted a double-blind, randomized, single-dose, 3-period crossover study (n=35). Patients with epilepsy and chronic cognitive complaints participated in three medication visits (approximately 1 week apart) where they were administered one of the blinded preparations (placebo, methylphenidate 10mg or 20mg).
Intense abnormal activity in well-known brain networks that occurs early in a seizure may be the key to impaired consciousness in children with absence epilepsy, new research suggests.
After a traumatic brain injury (TBI), people also experience major sleep problems, including changes in their sleep-wake cycle. A new study shows that recovering from these two conditions occurs in parallel. The study is published in the December 21, 2016, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered for the first time that the rhythm of breathing creates electrical activity in the human brain that enhances emotional judgments and memory recall. These effects on behavior depend critically on whether you inhale or exhale and whether you breathe through the nose or mouth.
Researchers at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre’s (KNC) Canadian Concussion Centre (CCC) have identified symptom trends that may not only help predict how soon patients suffering from post-concussion syndrome (PCS) will recover, but also provide insight on how to treat those who experience persistent concussion symptoms.