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When do I tell my children I have epilepsy?

you know what a grand mal seizure is? I found out when I was eight years old. I also found out how it felt after having one…a mouth being full of swollen tongue, the taste of blood, and the feeling of being underwater with a throbbing headache. As with most epileptics, doctors have no idea why I have it or what caused it. Mine is not genetic; it may have resulted from one of the many times I thwacked my head as a kid. I liked to hang upside-down on the monkey bars a lot. No surprise that my stampeding hippo brand of grace emerged early, and that I frequently fell from exactly that upside-down position.

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...


This article appears in the AAP News and Journals Gateway Increasing Awareness of Sudden Death in Pediatric Epilepsy Together Gardiner Lapham, William Davis Gaillard, Joanna Sexter, Madison M. Berl The death of any child is tragic. When the death is sudden and unexpected, it can seem especially incomprehensible. Henry was 4 years old when he died only a few weeks after his epilepsy diagnosis; his parents were devastated and never knew that death could occur; no physician had discussed the possibility with them. Henry was an otherwise healthy child, had a history of febrile seizures, and died in his sleep before his epilepsy workup was complete and before his medication was likely therapeutic. Since Henry’s death 8 years ago, together and independently, Henry’s parents, pediatrician, and ne...

New therapy developed to help people with epilepsy manage their condition

A NEW form of behavioral therapy for patients with epilepsy has been developed at a medical school. The therapy was created by neuroscientist Yoko Nagai at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. Her work targets patients who are resistant to drugs and teaches them to train their brains to be more alert. More than half of patients taking part in a clinical trial to test the therapy reported a reduction in seizure frequency by 50 per cent or more.

Scientists identify genes linked to human intelligence

Scientists from Imperial College London have identified for the first time two clusters of genes linked to human intelligence. Called M1 and M3, these so-called gene networks appear to influence cognitive function – which includes memory, attention, processing speed and reasoning. Crucially, the scientists have discovered that these two networks – which each contain hundreds of genes – are likely to be under the control of master regulator switches. The researchers are now keen to identify these switches and explore whether it might be feasible to manipulate them. The research is at a very early stage, but the scientists would ultimately like to investigate whether it is possible to use this knowledge of gene networks to boost cognitive function.

Suicidal Thoughts Plague Young and Old with Epilepsy

PHILADELPHIA — Patients with epilepsy are more likely to commit suicide than the general population, new CDC data showed. An analysis of data from the CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) found that the annual suicide mortality rate among those with epilepsy was about 16% higher than that seen in the general population, according to Niu Tian, MD, PhD, of the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues.

A step towards gene therapy against intractable epilepsy

By delivering genes for a certain signal substance and its receptor into the brain of test animals with chronic epilepsy, a research group at Lund University in Sweden and colleagues at University of Copenhagen Denmark has succeeded in considerably reducing the number of epileptic seizures among the animals. The test has been designed to as far as possible mimic a future situation involving treatment of human patients. Many patients with epilepsy are not experiencing any improvements from existing drugs. Surgery can be an alternative for severe epilepsy, in case it is possible to localise and remove the epileptic focus in the brain where seizures arise.

Mindfulness-Based Therapy Promising for Resistant Epilepsy

Short-term mindfulness-based therapy significantly improves quality of life and reduces anxiety and seizures in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy, researchers in Hong Kong report. Their new study shows that patients with epilepsy receiving mindfulness therapy in addition to information and education fared better than those who received only social support.

Study finds girls with mild autism susceptible to treatment-resistant epilepsy

New York — In a study published in the June issue of Autism Research, researchers at the New York University observed that girls with mild autism are susceptible to what scientists call ‘treatment-resistant’ epilepsy. It has long been observed by researchers that girls appear less likely to develop autism than boys, and that a significant number of individuals with autism also suffer from epilepsy. But the latest research on the subject matter concluded that although girls are less likely to develop autism, it is found that when they do, they are more likely to suffer from epilepsy— and that they tend to develop a treatment-resistant variant of the neurological disorder. The scientists also observed that girls with autism who suffer from the neurological disorder mostly have milder forms o...

Epilepsy: New Data on Focal Seizures

Patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsies (IGE) can also have focal seizure symptoms. A team of Australian researchers has added some findings that indicate which patients are more likely to have both types of seizures. Focal seizure symptoms (FSS) occur equally with both major and minor seizures. They are more common in juvenile absence epilepsy and juvenile myoclonic epilepsy than in childhood absence epilepsy and generalized epilepsy with tonic-clonic seizures only. In all types of epilepsy, FSS is associated with shorter periods of freedom from seizures. The findings are in a study completed at the department of medicine, St. Vincent’s Hospital, and St. Vincent’s Clinical School at the University of Melbourne in Australia. The study was published in volume 85 of Neurology. Udaya ...

Brain study reveals insights into genetic basis of autism

UNSW Australia scientists have discovered a link between autism and genetic changes in some segments of DNA that are responsible for switching on genes in the brain. The finding is the result of a world-first study of the human brain that identified more than 100 of these DNA segments, known as enhancers, which are thought to play a vital role in normal development by controlling gene activity in the brain. “Our study provides a unique resource of information on gene function in the human brain which could help reveal the basis of autism and related neurological disorders,” says lead author UNSW’s Dr Irina Voineagu. The research is published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. A lot of research on the genetic causes of diseases, including autism, focuses on mutations in g...

Cannabis Research Journal Supports Obama’s Statement On Medical Cannabis

Mary Ann Liebert, publisher of the newly launched peer-reviewed open access journalCannabis and Cannabinoid Research, strongly supports President Obama’s statement that “…carefully prescribed medical use of marijuana may in fact be appropriate and we should follow the science as opposed to ideology on this issue,” when asked about a pending Senate bill seeking to change federal law regarding state-legalized medical marijuana programs. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, a fully open access journal will be the authoritative source for research, discussion, and debate. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers will publish the Journal under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC BY) license to ensure broad dissemination and participation. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research w...

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