More than 50 million people of all ages suffer from epilepsy, otherwise known as seizure disorder, the fourth most common neurological disease in the world. Patients diagnosed with epilepsy often experience recurrent seizures triggered by the firing of a large collection of neurons in the brain. This ultimately generates a high-energy wave that spreads across the surface of the brain, resulting in numerous physical effects such as erratic body shaking, unconsciousness, exhaustion, and pain.
A study finds that people with uncontrolled epilepsy ? neurological disorder ? resort to cannabis products when antiepileptic drug side-effects are intolerable. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain. University of Sydney researchers revealed that 14 percent of people with epilepsy have used cannabis products as a way to manage seizures.
A novel statistical approach to analyzing patients with epilepsy has revealed details about their brains’ internal networks. The findings may lead to better understanding and treatment of the disease, according to Rice University researchers.
Neuronal degeneration is the most severe long-term consequence of repetitive seizures in patients with epilepsy, which until now was thought to be primarily caused by excitotoxicity, or over-stimulation of the neurons. New findings indicate hypoxia, or lack of oxygen, due to abnormal blood flow may be to blame for as much as half the neuronal death caused by the condition.
Prolonged epileptic seizures may cause serious problems that will continue for the rest of a patient’s life. As a result of a seizure, neural connections of the brain may be rewired in an incorrect way. This may result in seizures that are difficult to control with medication. Mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are not entirely known, which makes current therapies ineffective in some patients.
Epileptic activity appear to be more frequent in patients with Alzheimer’s disease than in healthy individuals and may be linked to disease progression, according to a recent study. These findings, previously seen in animals, suggest that increased neuronal excitability, a feature of epilepsy, may also contribute to the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Of the study’s patients, as many as 42.4 percent presented subclinical epileptiform spikes, especially during sleep. The study, “Incidence And Impact Of Subclinical Epileptiform Activity In Alzheimer’s Disease,” was published in the journal Annals of Neurology. The exchange of electrical signals in the brain is the basis of neuronal communication and activity. But in epileptic seizures, these signals are propagated in an exagger...
Reducing calorie intake, or fasting, may help decrease the frequency of seizures in people with epilepsy by calming overexcited neurons in the brain, early research suggests. “Our findings suggest that one of the reasons that fasting is beneficial is that it gives the nervous system a break,” Pejmun Haghighi, PhD, the study’ senior author, said in a press release. The study, “Acute Fasting Regulates Retrograde Synaptic Enhancement through a 4E-BP-Dependent Mechanism,” was published in the December issue of the journal Neuron.
A particular structure in the brain is a “choke point” for a type of epileptic seizure that affects mostly children, Stanford University School of Medicine investigators have found. The researchers used an advanced technology called optogenetics to show, in rodent models of one of the most common forms of childhood epilepsy, that inducing synchronized, rhythmic activity in a specific nerve tract within this structure is sufficient to cause seizures, while disrupting that activity is sufficient to terminate them.
After 35 years, the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) has approved a new classification system for seizures. One of the main changes is that seizures formerly known as “simple partial” are now called “focal aware” seizure and “complex partial” seizures are now “focal impaired awareness” seizures. Another novel element is that public opinion was considered in developing the new classification.
Neurological disorders are especially challenging to study in the laboratory, in part because of limited access to fully functional human neurons. Now, a powerful technique for reliably producing a subset of neurons involved with common neurological disorders has been developed by a team of Singaporean researchers led by Hyunsoo Je of the DUKE-NUS Medical School.
In a prospective study of women with epilepsy, researchers found blood levels of anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) in their breastfed infants to be either undetectable or well below the therapeutic range. They reported the findings here Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society.
Researchers are identifying an increasing number of antibodies that are the culprit behind seizure disorders in adults. There’s now a “very big list” of such antibodies that target the inside or the outside of the neuronal cell, said Claude Steriade, MD, Division of Neurology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. “Over the past few years, there has been increasing recognition that some forms of epilepsy are immune mediated; they’re associated with antibodies that target neurons,” said Dr Steriade.