Long-term use of antiepileptic drugs is a significant risk factor for vitamin D deficiency in children with epilepsy. A new Epilepsia study found that despite living in the tropics, a high proportion of Malaysian children with epilepsy are at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Among 244 children, vitamin D deficiency was identified in 55 (22.5%) of patients, and a further 48 (19.7%) had vitamin D insufficiency. Children with multiple antiepileptic drugs, low sunshine exposure, Indian ethnicity, female sex, and age >12 years were more likely to be vitamin D deficient. Source: Wiley
Pregnant women with epilepsy should not rule out continuing lamotrigine therapy due to concerns that exposure could increase the risk of orofacial clefts (OCs) in their babies, say investigators. Their findings indicate that the excess risk of OC is less than one in every 550 babies exposed to lamotrigine and therefore they do not support the sixfold increased risk suggested by the North American antiepileptic drug registry in 2006, a signal that led to warnings of the risk being added to patient information.
Study confirms no detectable difference when switching between generics While approved generics are required to be equivalent to their brand-named counterparts in terms of active ingredients, some may wonder if a switch between generics could cause problems for someone who relies on daily medication to control a severe, chronic condition, like seizures. A new study led by Michael Privitera, MD, professor of the Department of Neurology and director of the Epilepsy Center at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute, tested two generic lamotrigine (prescription antiepileptic) products and found no detectable difference in clinical effects among patients in the trial. The findings were published this week in an advance online edition of The Lancet Neurology.
The simple act of running may be sufficient to prevent long-term cognitive impairments caused by prenatal exposure to antiepileptic drugs, according to a study published November 19th in Stem Cell Reports, the journal of the International Society for Stem Cell Research. The findings revealed that prenatal exposure to a commonly used antiepileptic drug called valproic acid (VPA) inhibited the birth of new neurons in the brains of adult mice and impaired their performance on learning and memory tasks. Remarkably, these postnatal side effects were largely prevented when the mice were given access to a running wheel at a young age.
The results might surprise you! Acupuncture: A viable treatment for breast cancer survivors experiencing hot flashes Acupuncture may be a viable treatment for women experiencing hot flashes as a result of estrogen-targeting therapies to treat breast cancer, according to a new study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Hot flashes are particularly severe and frequent in breast cancer survivors, but current FDA-approved remedies for these unpleasant episodes, such as hormone replacement therapies are off-limits to breast cancer survivors because they include estrogen. The results of the study are published this week in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
SUDEP is the most common “direct epilepsy-related” cause of death in persons with epilepsy. While the risk for is still relatively low for all patients, our understanding of SUDEP is also relatively low. Researchers in Korea recently conducted and published a study that investigates clinical variables in correlation with SUDEP in order to identify risk factors. Twenty-six SUDEP cases and 78 controls were included in the study.
With the lack of reliable treatment for Alzheimer’s disease today, neurologists have focused their attention on treating the disease or at the very least delaying its onset. A recent study conducted at the University of British Columbia has found that drugs used to prevent or reduce the severity of epileptic seizures, also known as anticonvulsants, could become a promising treatment option for patients with Alzheimer’s as well. “Now we have many different research groups using antiepileptic drugs that engage the same target, and all point to a therapeutic effect in both Alzheimer’s disease models and patients with the disease,” Dr. Haakon Nygaard, the Fipke Professor in Alzheimer’s Research in UBC’s Faculty of Medicine, said in a statement.