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childhood epilepsy

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.

Health & Wellness: Detecting childhood epilepsy — it’s not their attention span

Sometimes Shelby would be there, but not “all there.” At the dinner table, her parents and siblings would catch her “zoning out”; she’d stop paying attention to the conversation and need to be jostled back to focus. They’d chide her for being so rude, then continue with their meal. It was just one of her quirks, they reasoned, and she’d grow out of it eventually.

Metformin shows promise as a potential treatment for fragile X syndrome

An inherited form of intellectual disability called fragile X may be treatable with metformin, the most widely used type 2 diabetes drug. This was the conclusion that researchers came to after studying the social, behavioral, and biological effects of metformin in a mouse model of fragile X. Research has shown that metformin, a drug used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, could be used to treat fragile X syndrome and other similar disorders.

Maternal linked to childhood epilepsy

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease whereby the body’s own immune system attacks the joints. New research suggests there may be a link between mothers with the autoimmune disorder and their children who develop epilepsy.

New insights on strategies to treat infants with seizures

New recommendations offer insights on strategies for treating infants with seizures. In an Epilepsia report, child neurologists who are members of the International League Against Epilepsy note that intervening at the time of a febrile seizure does not alter the risk for subsequent epilepsy, and there is no evidence to support the use of antiepileptic drugs for simple febrile seizures. However, recurrent seizures warrant an urgent assessment, and a variety of antiepileptic drugs may benefit these patients. Unfortunately, there is no high level evidence to support the use of any one particular drug among those that are currently available for use in infants with seizures. “Whilst this report provided some recommendations, for the most part it identified the significant lack of evidenc...

European scientists identify gene linked with certain types of early-onset epilepsy

Treatment may help prevent poor brain development in some cases Certain types of early-onset epilepsy are caused by previously unknown mutations of a potassium channel gene, KCNA2. The mutations disrupt the electrical balance in the brain in two ways. In some patients, the flow of potassium is greatly reduced; while in others, it is raised enormously. Both states can lead to hard-to-treat epileptic seizures. Mental and motor development can come to a stop, or even to regress. These findings were made by a group of European scientists led by researchers at the Universities of Leipzig and Tübingen. Their results are published in the latest Nature Genetics.

FEATURED BLOG: Epilepsy woke me up this morning

This morning laying in bed, just opening my eyes from a deep sleep, here is what was going through my mind. My 14-year-old daughter had her first seizures in February. Within days, she was diagnosed as having epilepsy and prescribed anti-epileptic medicine. On March 4, about a week after being back in school she had another seizure in math class. The doctor gave her  a new medicine. As of today, she has not had any more seizures. The medicine is working.

Anxiety in Children’s Epilepsy Tied to Differences in Brain Structure

Children with both epilepsy and anxiety have volumetric brain changes similar to those found in non-epileptic patients with anxiety, according to new research presented at the 30th International Epilepsy Congress (IEC). “Frequently, anxiety in epilepsy is viewed as a result of the unpredictability of seizures and is not treated,” said Jana Jones, PhD, assistant professor in neuropsychology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison.

The ‘PURPLExity’ of Epilepsy

Epilepsy. What is the first word you think of? Most people imagine someone foaming at the mouth, falling on the floor, and shaking all over. A full on seizure. However, that is not quite true. In many cases, epilepsy is an invisible illness that goes unnoticed by the average person. If someone does have a seizure, too often the average person panics and provides the wrong first aid, more harmful than helpful. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder which causes the brain to misfire, setting off a series of seizures. Epilepsy can occur in one part of the brain, but sometimes affects the entire body’s functions. Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with epilepsy. I attended Allegany College of Maryland, the Somerset Campus. During my freshman year, I had a class called Survey of American Literat...

Fasting Plus the Ketogenic Diet found to be amazingly effective!

Dec. 6, 2012 — Children with persistent and drug-resistant seizures treated with the high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet may get an added therapeutic benefit from periodic fasting, according to a small Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study. The results, published online Dec. 3 in the journal Epilepsy Research, suggest the ketogenic diet and fasting can work in tandem to reduce seizures but appear do so through different mechanisms — a finding that challenges the longstanding assumption that the two share a common mechanism. “Our findings suggest that fasting does not merely intensify the therapeutic effects of the ketogenic diet but may actually represent an entirely new way to change the metabolism of children with epilepsy,” says lead investigator Adam Hartm...

Emergency Seizure Medicine Administration in the News Again!

Last week we covered the story of how a Special Recreation group refused to administer Diastatrectally to kids who have seizure emergencies. Instead of administering the easy to use medicine, the policy was to call the Ambulance, which cost valuable time to the seizure. This very controversy has made the news again after a study shows that children suffering from prolonged, acute, convulsive seizures may not always receive timely rescue medication in schools and other community settings as intended by their specialist physician, according to the first findings of the PERFECT Initiative, which was organized and funded by USA-based ViroPharma (Nasdaq: VPHM). The results were presented as part of a symposium at the ILAE’s 10th European Congress on Epileptology (ECE), in London, UK. R...

Preventing Autism after early diagnoses of Epilepsy

BOSTON, May 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Early-life seizures are known to be associated with autism, and studies indicate that about 40 percent of patients with autism also have epilepsy. A study from Boston Children’s Hospital finds a reason for the link, and suggests that an existing drug, already shown to be safe in children, could help prevent autism from developing in newborns who have seizures. Led by Frances Jensen, MD, in the Department of Neurology and the F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, the study suggests that seizures over-activate a biochemical pathway previously linked to autism, known as the mTOR pathway, and that this alters the fast-forming circuitry in infants’ developing brains. In a rat model, Jensen and colleagu...

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