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Study reveals how genetic defects can lead to childhood epilepsy

New King’s College London research reveals how genetic defects can lead to epilepsy in children. In their new study, published in Scientific Reports and funded by Eli Lilly and Co., the researchers set out to understand how genetic defects affect electrical transmission in the brain. Understanding exactly how nerve cells are misfiring and creating seizures in children with epilepsy will allow researchers to design better, more personalised treatments for epilepsy.

First Guideline on Presurgical Brain Mapping for Epilepsy

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) has released the first evidence-based guideline comparing procedures used for determining brain lateralization prior to epilepsy surgery and for predicting post-surgical language and memory deficits.

Puzzle of Impaired Consciousness in Absence Epilepsy Solved?

Intense abnormal activity in well-known brain networks that occurs early in a seizure may be the key to impaired consciousness in children with absence epilepsy, new research suggests.

Neuroscientists uncover how the brain retunes to pull meaning out of noisy environment

When you’re suddenly able to understand someone despite their thick accent, or finally make out the lyrics of a song, your brain appears to be re-tuning to recognize speech that was previously incomprehensible.

Fasting May Help to Prevent Seizures by Calming Nervous System, Early Study Suggests

Reducing calorie intake, or fasting, may help decrease the frequency of seizures in people with epilepsy by calming overexcited neurons in the brain, early research suggests. “Our findings suggest that one of the reasons that fasting is beneficial is that it gives the nervous system a break,” Pejmun Haghighi, PhD, the study’ senior author, said in a press release. The study, “Acute Fasting Regulates Retrograde Synaptic Enhancement through a 4E-BP-Dependent Mechanism,” was published in the December issue of the journal Neuron.

Study improves molecular understanding of the brain in people with epilepsy

Neural stem cells have been found in epileptic brain tissue—outside the regions of the brain where they normally reside. In a group of patients who underwent surgery for epilepsy, over half had stem cells where healthy individuals do not have them, according to a study from Sahlgrenska Academy.

Research at Stanford locates absence epilepsy seizure ‘choke point’ in brain

A particular structure in the brain is a “choke point” for a type of epileptic seizure that affects mostly children, Stanford University School of Medicine investigators have found. The researchers used an advanced technology called optogenetics to show, in rodent models of one of the most common forms of childhood epilepsy, that inducing synchronized, rhythmic activity in a specific nerve tract within this structure is sufficient to cause seizures, while disrupting that activity is sufficient to terminate them.

A strategy for efficiently converting stem cells to neurons offers a potent neurological research tool

Neurological disorders are especially challenging to study in the laboratory, in part because of limited access to fully functional human neurons. Now, a powerful technique for reliably producing a subset of neurons involved with common neurological disorders has been developed by a team of Singaporean researchers led by Hyunsoo Je of the DUKE-NUS Medical School.

Comorbidities Common Even in Newly Diagnosed Epilepsy

Co-morbidities in a Hong Kong Cohort People with epilepsy have a higher prevalence of psychiatric and medical comorbid conditions than the general population. Now a recent review of patients with newly diagnosed and treated epilepsy admitted to Hong Kong hospitals has revealed that even patients without a long history of epilepsy have increased morbidity and mortality.

Sodium channel gene takes diverging paths in autism, epilepsy

Mutations in a gene called SCN2A have opposite effects in autism and in epilepsy. The divergence makes the gene an attractive candidate for research, suggest unpublished results presented today at the 2016 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

Understanding Stroke Risk in Pregnancy

A New York State study found that younger, not older women suffered an increase risk of stroke, both during pregnancy and in postpartum. Younger women — not older women — had an increased risk of stroke during pregnancy and the postpartum period compared to non-pregnant women of the same age, according to the results of a new study published online October 24, 2016 in JAMA Neurology. Overall, pregnancy-associated stroke (PAS) accounted for 15 percent of strokes in women aged 12 to 24 years; 20 percent of strokes in women aged 25 to 34 years; 5 percent of strokes in women aged 35 to 44 years; and 0.05 percent of strokes in women aged 45 to 50 years.

MS drug may reverse some physical disability

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF NEUROLOGY Via Eureka Alert MINNEAPOLIS – A drug used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS), alemtuzumab, was found to reverse some of the physical disability caused by the disease, according to new research published in the October 12, 2016, online issue of Neurology®, a medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Because it can cause serious side effects, alemtuzumab is generally used in people who have not responded well to other MS drugs; however, in this study it was used relatively early in the course of MS. The drug is used in relapsing-remitting MS, the most common form of the disease, in which symptoms alternate between sudden worsening and remission. “While many MS drugs slow the progress of disability, there have been little data about the abi...

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