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.
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.
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.
Researchers at the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas have discovered that more than 100 genes are linked to memory processing in the brain. The discovery could lead to the development of new therapies for memory-associated conditions such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and others, the study’s authors said.
Many neurological diseases are malfunctions of synapses, or the points of contact between neurons that allow senses and other information to pass from finger to brain. In the brain, there is a careful balance between the excitatory synapses that allow messages to pass, and the inhibitory synapses that dampen the signal. When that balance is off, the brain becomes unable to process information normally, leading to conditions like epilepsy.
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.
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.
A variation in a gene is responsible for some women to suffer from frequent epileptic seizures despite taking anti-epileptic drugs Effective treatment is available for epilepsy, but doctors had found out that epilepsy drugs don’t work in some women. Now scientists have figured out why some women suffer from recurrent seizures despite medication.
Researchers at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience identify the wiring process of a unique type of inhibitory cells implicated in several diseases. A basic tenet of neural development is that young neurons make far more connections than they will actually use, with very little specificity. They selectively maintain only the ones that they end up needing. Once many of these connections are made, the brain employs a use-it or lose-it strategy; if the organism’s subsequent experiences stimulate the synapse, it will strengthen and survive. If not, the synapse will weaken and eventually disappear.
Unable to figure out what causes the neurological disorder, the scientists thought to ask: What causes normal people (or lab animals) not to have it? Epileptic seizures are caused by abnormal activity in our brain. We know that. Attacks can be unprovoked or can be the result from a tendency that is created, for instance, by head trauma or exposure to certain stimuli. We know that too. We don’t know, however, is why some people are prone to epilepsy and some are not.
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.
For the first time, scientists have demonstrated that a component of cannabis reduces seizures in children with a rare form of epilepsy, marking a significant step in efforts to use marijuana and its derivatives to treat serious medical conditions.