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Cannabidiol benefits and mechanisms shown in mouse study of Dravet syndrome

Treatment with cannabidiol reduces some major symptoms in mice with a genetic condition recapitulating Dravet syndrome, a devastating childhood brain disorder.   Cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating substance among the several active compounds derived from Cannabis plants. This molecule can also be produced synthetically.   The results of its use to treat Dravet syndrome are reported in the latest edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS.

NeuroPace Epileptic Seizure Control System: Interview with Dr. Martha Morrell, CMO of NeuroPace

People with certain types of epilepsy may have the option to use a therapy that doesn’t include drugs. The RNS System from NeuroPace, a company out of Mountain View, California, monitors the brain for signs of an oncoming seizure and stimulates it to disrupt the process. It has been approved in the U.S. for about four years now, and we wanted to find more about how it works and how it’s being used. We had a chance to speak with Dr. Martha Morrell, Chief Medical Officer of NeuroPace, who was kind enough to answer our questions. Medgadget: The NeuroPace RNS system has shown to be effective at reducing seizures in many patients with epilepsy. Can you give us a brief overview of how the system functions?

Estrogen-mediated brain protection directly linked to intake of of fatty acids found in oils

Scientists are increasingly appreciating estrogen’s role in brain health. Now for the first time, production of estrogen in the brain has been directly linked to the presence of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA is found in abundance in fish oils and is also synthesized from alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid found in some vegetable-based oils.

Zynerba’s cannabis-based epilepsy gel fails in phase 2 trial

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals has reported that its cannabis-based epilepsy gel ZYN002 (cannabidiol [CBD] gel) has failed to meet the primary point in a phase 2 clinical trial. The trial dubbed as STAR 1 was held in 188 adult epilepsy patients with focal seizures across 14 sites in Australia and New Zealand. When compared to placebo, ZYN002 during the treatment period could not show a statistically significant decrease in focal seizures in comparison to the baseline period for either the high or low dose cohorts. STAR expands to Synthetic Transdermal Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Epilepsy. The patients in the phase 2 trial were randomized to be treated during a 12-week period for every 12 hours with either 195mg of ZYN002 4.2% CBD gel, 97.5mg of ZYN002 4.2% CBD gel or placebo gel. The primary...

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.

Pairnomix, StemoniX Develop Epilepsy Model in Search for New Anti-seizure Drugs

Pairnomix has joined efforts with StemoniX to develop a lab-based model of epileptic seizures using so-called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The model, which researchers refer to as a “seizure-in-a-dish” model system, will allow scientists to study seizures at a network level. In this way, they can use the model to screen for anti-epileptic drugs in a fast and easy manner. Minneapolis-based Pairnomix has expertise in epilepsy models, while San Diego-based StemoniX has developed the microBrain Platform. The model mirrors tissue architecture in the brain, with nerve cells connecting to each other through synapses, forming functional networks. For brain diseases such as epilepsy, iPSCs are invaluable research tools. These cells can be derived from skin tissue, and are forced to backt...

Data Lacking to Explain Why US Doctors Prefer Keppra to Treat Pediatric Epilepsy

Doctors have several anti-seizure options to treat epilepsy, but little data exists to show which of these treatments is best for children. Nevertheless, according to a recent study on therapies prescribed for children under 3 with epilepsy, doctors in the U.S. appear to prefer Keppra (levetiracetam) as either a first or second option for treatment.

This musician strummed a guitar during his own brain surgery

Guitar players can strum almost anywhere, from a beach to a park bench to an operating room — while undergoing brain surgery. That’s where Abhishek Prasad peddled his musical wares during a four-hour surgery in India that aimed to correct cramping in his fingers, his surgeon said.

Potential Surgery Treatment for Certain Epilepsy Patients, Review Says

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.

What is the vagus nerve?

The vagus nerve is the longest and most complex of the 12 pairs of cranial nerves that emanate from the brain. It transmits information to or from the surface of the brain to tissues and organs elsewhere in the body. The name “vagus” comes from the Latin term for “wandering.” This is because the vagus nerve wanders from the brain into organs in the neck, chest, and abdomen.

FDA Approves VNS Therapy Treatment for Drug-Resistant Epilepsy in Children as Young as Four Years Old

It was announced today that the FDA approves VNS Therapy® system (“VNS Therapy”) in patients as young as four years of age with partial onset seizures that are refractory to antiepileptic medications. This groundbreaking achievement makes VNS Therapy the first and only device that is FDA approved for drug-resistant epilepsy in this pediatric population. Previously, VNS Therapy was FDA approved for patients ages 12 and older. With this new indication, many children living with devastating drug-resistant seizures will have the opportunity for treatment beyond medication.

Valproic Acid Concentration Drops With Ketogenic Diet

For patients with epilepsy, anti-epileptic drug serum concentrations remain stable during the ketogenic diet, apart from those of valproic acid, according to a study published online June 18 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. Changes in serum concentrations of other anti-epileptic drugs not found to be significant. For patients with epilepsy, anti-epileptic drug serum concentrations remain stable during the ketogenic diet (KD), apart from those of valproic acid, according to a study published online June 18 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

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