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French regulator says up to 4,100 children victims of epilepsy drug

PARIS (Reuters) – An estimated 2,150 to 4,100 children in France suffered a major malformation in the womb between 1967 and 2016 after their mothers took a treatment against epilepsy and bipolar disorders known as valproate, France’s drug regulator said on Thursday. Valproate, which has been manufactured in France by Sanofi under the brand Depakine in the field of epilepsy and Depakote and Depamide in bipolar disorders, is also believed to cause slow neurological development.

Antiepileptic Drug Changes May Negatively Impact Emotions

An epilepsy patient’s emotional well-being may be negatively impacted when changes are made to their antiepileptic drug (AED) regimen. These are the findings from a study published online in the journal Epilepsy and Behavior. In order to understand how AED changes affect patient emotions, researchers asked members of an online epilepsy community to participate in an online survey which consisted of 31 questions that rated their feelings on a recent AED change. In addition to the survey results, comments from epilepsy-related online forums and social media websites where people expressed their experiences with AED changes were also analyzed (termed passive listening statements).

Generics Compared Against Each Other, No Difference Found

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.

Diseases that cause skin-related problems can also trigger serious neurological conditions

Diseases such as lupus that cause rashes and other skin problems also can trigger migraine headaches, strokes and other serious neurological conditions, according to an article by Loyola University Medical Center physicians. The article, published in the Handbook of Clinical Neurology, is written by senior author Jose Biller, MD and colleagues. Dr. Biller is chair of the Department of Neurology of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. “A variety of neurologic diseases have cutaneous [skin-related] manifestations,” Dr. Biller and colleagues write. “These may precede, coincide with or follow the neurologic findings.”

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...

Epilepsy Drugs Could Be Used To Prevent Or Treat Symptoms Of Alzheimer’s Disease

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.

STROKE: Aspirin Resistance May Signal Increased Risk of More Severe Strokes

People who exhibit a resistance to aspirin may be more likely to have more severe strokes than people who still respond to the drug, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 67th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, April 18 to 25, 2015. The study also found that in people with aspirin resistance the actual size of stroke appears larger. Aspirin works to help keep blood platelets from clumping together, or clotting. Blot clots can cause strokes. People at risk of stroke often take aspirin to reduce their risk of having another stroke; however, a percentage of patients may be insensitive, or resistant, to aspirin, which in turn may negate the aspirin’s effect of lowering stroke risk. The concept of “resistance” to...

FUTURE OF AEDs: On Demand Seizure Control

The Future of Epilepsy Medication (Source) Researchers are making progress on a new “on demand” epilepsy pill which can be taken when people feel a seizure starting. The pill has been developed by a team at University College London, UK, led by Professor Dimitri Kullmann. They explain that about one percent of people worldwide, or 65 million individuals, have epilepsy. About a quarter are resistant to normal treatments, drugs that suppress the excitability of all brain cells and cause side effects. But the new pill to suppress seizures may help this group, as it works by genetically modifying brain cells, making them sensitive to a compound which is normally inactive. Professor Kullmann describes the process. “First, we inject a modified virus into the area of the brain where seizures aris...

Epilepsy Drug May Treat Kidney Stones

Anyone who has suffered from kidney stones is keenly aware of the lack of drugs to treat the condition, which often causes excruciating pain. A new mouse study, however, suggests that a class of drugs approved to treat leukemia and epilepsy also may be effective against kidney stones, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report. The drugs are histone deacetylase inhibitors, or HDAC inhibitors for short. The researchers found that two of them – Vorinostat and trichostatin A – lower levels ofcalcium and magnesium in the urine. Both calcium and magnesium are key components of kidney stones. The research is available online in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. “We’re hopeful this class of drugs can dissolve kidney stones ...

BREAKTHROUGH: Researchers acheive groundbreaking biological results using FEI’s Titan Krios™ transmission electron microscope

FEI is pleased to announce that researchers at the NIH-FEI Living Lab for Structural Biology have achieved breakthrough biological results, using FEI’s Titan Krios™ transmission electron microscope (TEM), to elucidate the structural mechanism by which glutamate receptors participate in the transmission of signals between neurons in the brain. Their work is described in Nature, “Structural Mechanism of Glutamate Receptor Activation and Desensitization,” by Meyerson, et al., (DOI: 10.1038/nature13603),http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature13603.html . “The Living Lab for Structural Biology was designed two years ago as an open innovation framework to bring together cryo-EM, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), x-ray diffraction (XRD), and biochemistry experts in one plac...

Epilepsy Drug Recalled in Ireland

Batches of a drug used in Ireland to treat epilepsy seizures are being recalled from pharmacies as a precautionary measure, the Health Products Regulatory Authority has confirmed. The recall concerns Buccolam Oromucosal Solution, a prescription-only medicine administered in the side of the mouth in pre-filled syringes to children and adults. The makers ViroPharma SPRL have issued batch numbers for the products concerned. The precautionary move follows a routine inspection of the company’s manufacturing site in the UK, which identified the possibility for chemical contamination. However, no evidence of contamination has been identified within Buccolam Oromucosal Solution on the market. Pharmacists are being asked to quarantine any of the batches listed. The HPRA, formerly the Irish Me...

2 medications equally effective in treating major epileptic brain seizures in children

A recently published clinical study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has answered an urgent question that long puzzled ER pediatricians: Is the drug lorazepam really safer and more effective than diazepam – the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medication as first line therapy most often used by emergency room doctors to control major epileptic seizures in children? The answer to that question – based on a double-blind, randomized clinical trial that compared outcomes in 273 seizure patients, about half of whom were given lorazepam – is a clear-cut “no,” said Prashant V. Mahajan, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A, one of the authors of the study. “The results of our clinical trial were very convincing, and they showed clearly that the two me...

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