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Your neurons register familiar faces, whether you notice them or not

When people see an image of a person they recognize—the famous tennis player Roger Federer or actress Halle Berry, for instance—particular cells light up in the brain. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on September 21 have found that those cells light up even when a person sees a familiar face or object but fails to notice it. The only difference in that case is that the neural activity is weaker and delayed in comparison to what happens when an observer consciously registers and can recall having seen a particular image.

Epilepsy drugs pose risks to developing brains, study suggests

Some drugs used to treat epilepsy harm children who are exposed to them in the womb or through breast milk, a new analysis of the literature suggests1. The drug valproate is particularly risky, boosting the likelihood of autism and other developmental problems up to 17-fold. The study is the first to compare the relative risks of taking various epilepsy drugs during pregnancy. Some of these medications are also used to treat bipolar disorder and migraines.

Self-Management Programs Help with Epilepsy

For 10 years the CDC Managing Epilepsy Well Network has developed innovative programs using e-tools to reach people with epilepsy. Learn how these programs can help your patients with epilepsy better manage their condition. The Importance of Epilepsy Self-Management Epilepsy is a broad term used for a brain disorder that causes seizures. There are many different types of epilepsy and many different kinds of seizures. Epilepsy can get in the way of life, mostly when seizures keep happening. Although there are many drugs to help prevent seizures, they don’t always work. In fact, about one-third of people with epilepsy who are receiving care still have seizures.1 Uncontrolled seizures can increase the risk of injury, anxiety, depression, brain damage, and in rare cases, death. They can also i...

3D printed brain-like tissue for neurotransmitter production

Armed with a 3D printer and bio-ink made from stem cells, Australian scientists have created brain-like tissue in a breakthrough research. The unique bio-ink is composed of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) – possessing the same properties as embryonic stem cells – capable of transforming into any cell (and organ) in the body.

New method identifies brain regions most likely to cause epilepsy seizures

Scientists have developed a new way to detect which areas of the brain contribute most greatly to epilepsy seizures, according to a PLOS Computational Biology study. The strategy, devised by Marinho Lopes of the University of Exeter and colleagues, could help surgeons select specific brain areas for removal to stop seizures.

It was all yellow: did digitalis affect the way Van Gogh saw the world?

Extracted from foxgloves, digitalis was once used as a treatment for epilepsy. Could a side effect have triggered the artist’s “yellow period”? It was recently the 127th anniversary of the tragic death of Vincent van Gogh. His short life came to an untimely end two days after he shot himself in the chest; he had experienced mental health issues through much of his life. In the absence of a definitive diagnosis, speculation as to the true nature of his illness fills volumes.

Save a Life – Please Be Aware Water Born Amoeba Causes Seizures and Even Death

Today I received some devastating news.  I received a Facebook Message from someone I know:  “Chuck, My son died of epilepsy on Mother’s Day.  He may have had abdominal form since middle school. How can we raise awareness for those with epilepsy and cyclic vomiting?  He left some acoustic guitar music he played despite repeated seizures and memory loss.”  From a father and a doctor. Many people may not be aware that there is a water born ameba (Yes, even in the U.S.) that eats away the brain tissue and can result in seizures and other illness. 

Compound derived from marijuana interacts with anti-epileptic drugs

New research published in Epilepsia, a journal of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), suggests that an investigational neurological treatment derived from cannabis may alter the blood levels of commonly used anti-epileptic drugs. It is important for clinicians to consider such drug interactions during treatment of complex conditions.

Neuroscientists develop new forms of diagnosis and therapy for temporal lobe epilepsy

What if you fell off your bicycle today and ten years later you developed epilepsy? Relationships like this might appear far-fetched but are entirely possible, say Freiburg researchers. Using the latest MRI scanning procedures, Prof. Dr. Carola Haas, Department of Neurosurgery, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Hennig, Department of Radiology, and Prof. Dr. Ulrich Egert, Department of Microsystems Engineering (MST) of the University of Freiburg, in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Jan Korvink of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, have shown how certain disorders of the hippocampus can initiate a drug resistant epilepsy. The team has discovered biomarkers that – if used for screening – could massively improve treatment options for epilepsy. The researchers have published their results in the onlin...

Genetic Testing Can Help Pinpoint Epilepsy Earlier

A new study supports routine genetic testing for epilepsy in young children with seizures. “Precision medicine means nothing without precision diagnosis, and we can now provide precision diagnosis,” said study lead author Anne Berg, of the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Epilepsy Therapies Can Worsen Some Mitochondrial Disorders, Experts Warn

Epilepsy is a common manifestation of mitochondrial disorders for about half of the people with the energy-production malfunction. In most cases, doctors can use epilepsy therapies to treat epilepsy stemming from mitochondrial problems. But the treatments can worsen mitochondrial disorders that are caused by POLG1 gene mutations, according to a review in Epilepsy Research.

Ultra-Marathon Cyclist Who Is Epileptic Breaks Two World Indoor Distance Records

An ultra-marathon cyclist with epilepsy has broken world indoor-track records for the longest distances covered in six and eight hours. Katie Ford dedicated the records she broke on July 2 at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow’s Emirates Arena to raising epilepsy awareness.

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