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Seizure Control

First RNS Patient in the South Doing Well 30 Days Later

Neurologists implant neurostimulator in brain to control seizures It has been 30 days since neurologists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham turned on the neurostimulator implanted in Sarah Conner’s brain to control her seizures. In that short time, she can already say, “I’m doing pretty good.” Conner, 24, has suffered from seizures for 10 years. In June, she became the first patient in the Southeast to receive a new device called a responsive neurostimulator since its approval by the Federal Drug Administration last year. UAB neurosurgeon Kristen Riley, M.D., implanted the RNS system, developed by NeuroPace, into Conner’s brain. It includes an electrical generator, about the size of a flash drive, which is implanted in the skull. Electrodes are run to ...

THE KETOGENIC DIET FOR ADULTS

Previously, the Ketogenic Diet has been primarily administered to children with epilepsy. Some of the reasons it has not been a staple for adult treatment is that there are some cardiovascular risks and children are able to recover from the treatment at a faster rate. Adults also have longer-term eating habits in place, which can be hard habits to change. An adult caretaker usually makes sure a child is adhering to the diet, doing all of the planning, purchasing, preparing and serving for the child.  An adult will have to take this diet seriously on their own and use their own self-control to adhere to the diet strictly. Furthermore, since several forms of pediatric epilepsy can be so severe and so drug-resistant, previous research has focused on pediatric treatment. There has not been muc...

Can Epilepsy Be Cured? Long-term Outcomes After Seizure Surgery

Seizure Control in Epilepsy Antiepileptic drugs control seizures in 60%-70% of people with epilepsy.[1] The remaining 30%-40% resort to other therapies, such as the vagus nerve stimulator (VNS); responsive neurostimulation (RNS); deep brain stimulation (DBS), which is approved in Europe but not in the United States; ketogenic and Atkins diets; alternative and complementary therapies; and epilepsy surgery. Seizure control is essential, because the potential consequences of chronic epilepsy include psychological dysfunction, social stigma, inability to drive, lower rates of employment, reduced quality of life, and physical injury, as well as increased mortality from drowning and other accidents, status epilepticus, and sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). Treatment Options Although V...

Adult Social Outcomes of Medicated “Benign Childhood Epilepsy” Better than Other Forms of Epilepsy

A recent study has concluded that successfully treated rolandic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolandic_epilepsy) epilepsy leads to more positive adult social outcomes than other forms of epilepsy. Researchers from Dalhousie University and the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Canada reviewed medical records and carried out structured telephone interviews with 32 adults who developed rolandic epilepsy in childhood. Each participant was in remission and had stopped taking antiepileptic drugs, with only two minor seizure-related injuries reported by the entire cohort. Writing in the journal Neurology, they said only two-fifths (41 per cent) of patients showed one or more adverse social outcomes such as failure to complete high school, pregnancy outside of a stable relationship, unemployment or de...

RNS Offers Hope To Patients with Severe Epilepsy

SEATTLE — For 20 years Kaetlin Barrett of Anacortes has suffered from debilitating epilepsy. At age 3 she began experiencing incredibly painful seizures about five times a day which she describes as “a thousand needles stabbing my brain” or “hammers pounding my head.” Over the years, Barrett was held back in school, alienated by her peers and had to quit playing sports. “My confidence was really affected,” Barrett said. “I was always judged and people called me a freak. I’d pray every night for some miracle.” That miracle occurred when Barrett was 18 years old and learned about a new therapy being tested at Swedish Medical Center: the NeuroPace RNS System. A device was being implanted in patients’ brains to predict when they were going to have a seizure and stop it from happening. No...

Perampanel Shows Promise In Patients With Difficult-To-Treat Partial Epilepsy

A new anti-epileptic drug called perampanel (brand name Fycompa) appears to be having benefits for patients with partial epilepsy with uncontrolled seizures. Perampanel was granted EU approval in July 2012 and is now available in a number of European countries, including the UK. It works by selectively targeting AMPA receptors, which are thought to play an important role in the generation and spread of seizures. The once-daily medication blocks the effects of glutamate, which can trigger and maintain seizures. Researchers have conducted two analyses on early clinical use of perampanel in Germany, both of which were presented at the joint meeting of the German and Austrian Societies for Epileptology and the Swiss League Against Epilepsy this week (May 9th).

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...

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