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Connection found between memory mechanisms, resistance to epilepsy

A new study undertaken jointly by researchers from the Sagol Department of Neurobiology at the University of Haifa and European researchers, published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, exposes a new biological mechanism that, on the one hand, damages a very specific type of memory, but at the same time provides resistance to epilepsy.

New study pinpoints individual neurons in the brain that support observational learning

Picture a little boy imitating his father shaving in the mirror or a little girl wobbling proudly in her mother’s high heels. From infancy, we learn by watching other people, then use those memories to help us predict outcomes and make decisions in the future. Now a UCLA-Caltech study has pinpointed the individual neurons in the brain that support observational learning. Published Sept. 6 in Nature Communications, the findings could provide scientists with a better understanding of how the brain goes awry in conditions like learning disorders and social anxiety disorder. In a secondary finding, the research team also discovered that neurons in the same region fire in response to schadenfreude — the pleasure of seeing someone else make a blunder or lose a game. “Observational le...

BREAKTHROUGH: New study confirms neuroprotective role of PrPC against epilepsy

For some time, scientists have been wondering what the physiological role of PrP is in its normal physiological state. Previous studies suggested that among its functions one was preventing the onset of seizure discharges in the brain (most likely by modulating the action of specific synaptic channels), but some had questioned the validity of the research. “The idea in the past was that animal models were not specific enough and that the observations were the product of systematic, experimental error,” says Prof. Giuseppe Legname of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) of Trieste. Legname is one of the authors of the new study. “With our work we wanted to dispel any doubt. We used 4 animal models to really test the hypothesis of the neuroprotective functi...

Discovery has clear implications in the quest for new epilepsy treatments

The mission of neural stem cells located in the hippocampus, one of the main regions of the brain, is to generate new neurons during the adult life of mammals, including human beings, of course, and their function is to participate in certain types of learning and responses to anxiety and stress. Using an epilepsy model in genetically modified mice, the researchers have discovered that hippocampal neural stem cells stop generating new neurons and are turned into reactive astrocytes, a cell type that promotes inflammation and alters communication between neurons. This research work has also made it possible to confirm the hypothesis in a previous piece of research by these researchers; this hypothesis established that even though neuronal hyperexcitation does not go as far as to cause convu...

BREAKTHROUGH: New Compound Shows Anti-Seizure, Anti-inflammatory effects for TBI Treatment

Summary of article: A new compound containing Deuterium called “C-10068” is displaying extremely positive results as a treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). When testing brain trauma response on lab animals (rats), researchers found that doses of C-10068 could reduce post-injury seizures, both convulsant and non-convulsant. At the highest dosages, brain inflammation was also greatly reduced. This new drug could prove vital in protecting and saving brains after a TBI, leading to lower incidence of injury-related epilepsy!

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...

BREAKTHROUGH: New Treatment Restores Normal Behavior in Mice with Autism

Among the problems people with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) struggle with are difficulties with social behavior and communication. That can translate to an inability to make friends, engage in routine conversations, or pick up on the social cues that are second nature to most people. Similarly, in a mouse model of ASD, the animals, like humans, show little interest in interacting or socializing with other mice. One drug, risperidone, works in both humans and mice with ASD to treat other symptoms of the disorder—including repetitive behaviors–but no medication has been found to help socialization. Now researchers at UCLA have treated ASD mice with a neuropeptide–molecules used by neurons to communicate with each other–called oxytocin, and have found that it restores nor...

University of Iowa is Also Testing CBD for Epilepsy

U-I studying canabis oil ingredient as a treatment for epilepsy A clinical study of a marijuana derivative for treating epilepsy will soon get underway at the University of Iowa and other research sites. U-I Neurologist, Charuta Joshi, says the study will use an ingredient in cannabis oil called CDB that’s created by a British pharmaceutical company. They want to see if it helps reduce seizures in some patients. “They have cloned their plants genetically. It is medication that you get. It is pure CBD that they are making. The study is going to be extremely rigorous.” Joshi says there is anecdotal evidence that cannabis oil has helped patients with untreatable seizure disorders.

New Contest Challenges Scientists to Improve Epilepsy Care

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania Health System and the Mayo Clinic are challenging the best minds in science to improve how epilepsy is treated. The “Seizure Detection and Prediction Challenge” will involve two competitions, with $28,000 in prize money, aimed at finding new ways to detect and predict seizure onset. Epilepsy is a brain disorder that afflicts 3 million Americans and 50 million people worldwide. The Seizure Detection and Prediction Challenge, an international competition sponsored by the American Epilepsy Society (AES), National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the Epilepsy Foundation, challenges experts to detect and predict seizure activity accurately. In the first phase, seizure detection,...

Multiple Sclerosis Patients May Also Benefit from Cannabis Derived Medicine

A review by the American Academy of Neurology of available scientific research on the use of medical marijuana in brain diseases finds certain forms of medical marijuana can help treat some symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS), but do not appear to be helpful in treating drug-induced (levodopa) movements in Parkinson’s disease. Not enough evidence was found to show if medical marijuana is helpful in treating motor problems in Huntington’s disease, tics in Tourette syndrome, cervical dystonia and seizures in epilepsy. The review is published in the April 29, 2014, print issue ofNeurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), and will be presented at the AAN Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, April 26-May 3, 2014, which is the world’s largest gatheri...

Jerry Kill’s Gameday Seizure Action Plan

MINNEAPOLIS — Immediately after Jerry Kill has a seizure on the sideline, one longtime assistant takes over the headset and communicates with officials. The defensive coordinator handles the postgame news conference and splits the remaining news media obligations with the offensive coordinator. Should Kill miss practice, they revert to their schedule from a week earlier, with adjustments based on their next opponent. Coach Jerry Kill and the Golden Gophers after a loss to Iowa last Saturday that dropped their record to 4-1. Minnesota is planning to raise $190 million for facility renovations. Always, Kill returns soon after to his office at the University of Minnesota. The assistants come to work and see him at his desk and nod and head to their own offices, not a word exchanged. Kill, 52,...

Success with the VNS

We here at EpilepsyU have heard every kind of response about the VNS, but overall they seem to have a positive impact on the lives of people with Intractable Epilepsy. This is a success story with the VNS, a woman who has gotten her life back through the use of this technology. — “I tell people I’m a robot,” 24-year-old Margaret Evans says. “I have a magnet in me.” Evans is not a robot, but an ambitious young woman who controls her epilepsy thanks to the magnet, or vagus nerve stimulator, she had implanted over seven years ago, which enabled her to pursue her dreams of helping others and giving back to the community. A VNS is a small device implanted under a patient’s skin near the collarbone. The device is connected by a wire under the skin to the vagus nerve in the patient’s ...

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