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Regulating Sodium Channels in Epilepsy

Over the past few years Sodium Channels have been linked to epilepsy and researchers have focused on this area of research to understand genetic epilepsy. A new study by Northwestern Medicine focused on discovering the genetic causes of irregularities in sodium channels and the potential for regulating them. Via Northwestern Medicine: A new Northwestern Medicine study may help explain why patients with the same epilepsy gene mutation experience different levels of disease severity. The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), also reveal new insights into sodium channel regulation and a potential therapeutic target for epilepsy treatment. Christopher Thompson, PhD, research assistant professor of Pharmacology, was the first author of the study, led...

TBI RESEARCH: Preventing Epilepsy in Patients with TBI

Research consortium awarded $21 million NIH grant to find ways to prevent epilepsy in patients with TBI An international consortium of academic research institutions have been awarded a $21 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop better ways to prevent epilepsy in patients who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. The grant will be led by seven principal investigators at five institutions: Albert Einstein College of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, University of Melbourne and University of Eastern Finland. The investigators will collaborate in the fields of bioinformatics, molecular biology, cellular pathology, therapy discovery and the health sciences. The research team will...

Mapping premature infant’s brain after birth may help better predict developmental problems

Scanning a premature infant’s brain shortly after birth to map the location and volume of lesions, small areas of injury in the brain’s white matter, may help doctors better predict whether the baby will have disabilities later.

Mediterranean diet may help provide long-term protection to the brain

A new study shows that older people who followed a Mediterranean diet retained more brain volume over a three-year period than those who did not follow the diet as closely. The study is published in the January 4, 2017, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. But contrary to earlier studies, eating more fish and less meat was not related to changes in the brain.

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.

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.

UAB researchers launch first drug study to prevent onset of epilepsy in children with TSC

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have launched the first drug study aimed at preventing or delaying the onset of epilepsy in children with a genetic condition known as tuberous sclerosis complex. UAB is the lead institution and data center for the PREVeNT study, a national, multisite study funded by a $7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Tuberous sclerosis complex is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form in many different organs. TSC particularly affects neurologic functions, often leading to seizures, developmental delay, intellectual disability and autism. About 80 percent of children with TSC develop epilepsy within the first three years of life.

Relief for epilepsy at the scale of a single cell

Date: August 23, 2016 Source: Linköping University Summary: Researchers have developed in collaboration with French colleagues a small device that both detects the initial signal of an epileptic attack and doses a substance that effectively stops it. All this takes place where the signal arises — in an area of size 20chr(‘215’)20 μm known as a ‘neural pixel.’ The bioelectronic neural pixel: Chemical stimulation and electrical sensing at the same site Researchers at Linköping University have developed in collaboration with French colleagues a small device that both detects the initial signal of an epileptic attack and doses a substance that effectively stops it. All this takes place where the signal arises — in an area of size 20×20 μm known as a “n...

Suicide rate is 22 percent higher among people with epilepsy than the general population

The suicide rate among people with epilepsy is 22 percent higher than the general population, according to a new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), published in Epilepsy & Behavior. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. As recent research suggested that epilepsy, psychiatric disorders and suicide might be linked, CDC researchers used data from the 2003-2011 U.S. National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), a large multiple-state surveillance system that collects information on violent deaths including suicide, to find out how often and in which conditions suicide occurs among epilepsy patients. The resulting report is the first state-based study in the United States to examine the suicide rate and suicide risk facto...

Experimental drug candidate may aid traumatic brain injury patients

A new report by University of Kentucky researcher Linda Van Eldik, PhD, describes an experimental drug candidate that may aid patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). The article appeared this week in the journal PLoS One, the world’s largest biology journal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls, motor vehicle collisions, and assault make up the most common causes of TBI. Symptoms of TBI, which include impaired cognition, memory, and motor control, may be temporary or permanent depending on the severity of the injury. “Following a head injury, the body mobilizes immune cells to respond to the trauma and jump-start the healing process,” Van Eldik said. “Although these immune cells help repair the injury, they also cause inflamma...

A step towards gene therapy against intractable epilepsy

By delivering genes for a certain signal substance and its receptor into the brain of test animals with chronic epilepsy, a research group at Lund University in Sweden and colleagues at University of Copenhagen Denmark has succeeded in considerably reducing the number of epileptic seizures among the animals. The test has been designed to as far as possible mimic a future situation involving treatment of human patients. Many patients with epilepsy are not experiencing any improvements from existing drugs. Surgery can be an alternative for severe epilepsy, in case it is possible to localise and remove the epileptic focus in the brain where seizures arise.

Flies may have the answer to preventing epilepsy, say Manchester scientists

University of Manchester researchers believe they have found the answer to the early prevention of epilepsy in the tiny nervous systems of fruit flies Scientists in Manchester believe they have found the answer to the early prevention of epilepsy – in the tiny nervous systems of fruit flies. The revolutionary new approach has been pioneered by two scientists at the University of Manchester with the use of light. Professor Richard Baines and Dr Carlo Giachello used a genetically-altered fruit fly to show how nervous system activity can be suppressed by shining yellow light through its embryo.

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