Welcome to EpilepsyU.com a social network dedicated to the epilepsy community

side-effects

Research Uncovers Causes for Spastic Paraplegia, a disorder tied to Epilepsy

In a study published in the January 31, 2014 issue of Science, an international team led by scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report doubling the number of known causes for the neurodegenerative disorder known as hereditary spastic paraplegia. HSP is characterized by progressive stiffness and contraction of the lower limbs and is associated with epilepsy, cognitive impairment, blindness and other neurological features. Over several years, working with scientific colleagues in parts of the world with relatively high rates of consanguinity or common ancestry, UC San Diego researchers recruited a cohort of more than 50 families displaying autosomal recessive HSP – the largest such cohort assembled to date. The scientists analyzed roughly 100 patien...

Weight Gain HALTED by Valproic Acid (Depakote)

Common epilepsy drug helps combat obesity in early studies: Discoveries CLEVELAND, Ohio — The anticonvulsant valproic acid, sold under the brand name Depakote, helped halt weight gain and reverse the negative medical effects of obesity in mice, according to new research from Johns Hopkins University. The study, published online Wednesday in the journal Molecular Pharmacology, may point the way toward a new treatment for millions of obese people, if further testing proves successful. Depakote is FDA-approved for the treatment of epilepsy, manic episodes in bipolar disorder and for the prevention of migraine headaches. In the study, obese mice that received the drug in their water stopped gaining weight, had decreased blood sugar levels, and had improvements in the health of their live...

Epilepsy drug turns out to help adults acquire perfect pitch and learn language like kids

A team of researchers from across the globe believe they have discovered a means of re-opening “critical periods” in brain development, allowing adults to acquire abilities — such as perfect pitch or fluency in language — that could previously only be acquired early in life. According to the study in Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, the mood-stabilizing drug valproate allows the adult brain to absorb new information as effortlessly as it did during critical windows in childhood. A critical period is “a fixed window of time, usually early in an organism’s lifespan, during which experience has lasting effects on the development of brain function and behavior.” They are, for example, what allows children to enter into language without any formal training in grammar or vocabulary. The resear...

Vitamin D and calcium improves bone density in male veterans treated with AEDs

A recent prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial reports that calcium and vitamin D supplementation improves bone density in a group of male veterans with epilepsy who were treated chronically with anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). The results published in Epilepsia, a journal of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), suggest that risedronate, a bisphosphonate, may help to prevent new vertebral fractures when taken with calcium and vitamin D supplementation. Many patients with epilepsy are required to take chronically an AED such as phenytoin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine, primidone, and valproate alone or in combination to control seizures. There is much medical evidence reporting that these AEDs may accelerate bone loss, increasing the risk of osteoporotic fractu...

PRESS RELEASE: Many neurologists unaware of safety risks related to anti-epilepsy drugs

Women of childbearing age, Asian patients may require alternative medications A study by Johns Hopkins researchers shows that a fifth of U.S. neurologists appear unaware of serious drug safety risks associated with various anti-epilepsy drugs, potentially jeopardizing the health of patients who could be just as effectively treated with safer alternative medications. The findings suggest that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration needs a better way to communicate information to specialists about newly discovered safety risks, the researchers say, since the warnings are in many cases not getting through to doctors making important prescribing decisions. And, the researchers add, while their new study, reported online last week in the journal Epilepsy and Behavior, was focused on neurologists...

Study Looks At Complications Of Vagal Nerve Stimulation For Drug-Resistant Epilepsy

Patients who undergo vagal nerve stimulation to treat drug-resistant epilepsy may experience certain complications and repeat surgeries should be avoided wherever possible, scientists have claimed. Researchers at Umea University Hospital in Sweden conducted a study to assess the complications that may occur following this treatment, in which a stimulator device is implanted – usually into the chest – and delivers electrical impulses to the vagus nerve in the neck via electrodes. The nerve affects areas of the brain involved in the onset of seizures, so vagal nerve stimulation aims to interrupt or prevent the development of seizures.

CONSUMER AFFAIRS: Patients Report Issues with New Version of Topamax

Topiramate is a drug, also marketed under the brand name Topamax, that is used to treat certain types of seizures in people who have epilepsy. Topiramate is also used with other medications to control seizures in people who have Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a disorder that causes seizures and developmental problems. It can also be used to prevent migraine headaches. It’s in a class of medications called anticonvulsants. It works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain and is a widely and successfully used drug. The drug is now generic and is produced by different pharmaceutical companies. Carol, of Lafayette, La., reports taking 100 mg twice daily for sciatic nerve pain. “I was getting Topiramate by Teva Pharmaceuticals and I was having very little discomfort once I went from once...

Drug warning: Epilepsy drug Potiga linked to skin and eye abnormalities (Video)

On April 26, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety alert regarding the anti-seizure medication Potiga (ezogabine). Potiga is used to treat partial-onset seizures in adults with epilepsy. Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes recurring seizures. Approximately 60,000people in Connecticut have epilepsy. One out of every ten people will experience a seizure at some point in their lives. The FDA reports that Potiga may cause blue skin discoloration and eye abnormalities (such as changes in the color of the retina). Pigment changes in the retina can cause serious eye disease with loss of vision. It is not yet known if these changes are reversible. The skin discoloration is blue, predominantly on the lips or in the nail beds of the fingers or toes. Eye discoloration...

Novel questionnaire reliably assesses adverse effects of AEDs in children

  The adverse effects of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) can be reliably measured in children from across the epilepsy spectrum in clinical and research settings with the novel Pediatric Epilepsy Side Effects Questionnaire (PESQ), say US scientists. “Assessment of side effects is challenging due to the use of different descriptive terms and the difficulty in determining their severity in an objective way,” explain Diego Morita and colleagues from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio. “The PESQ addresses many of these issues: it standardizes terminology, provides an objective measurement, and quantifies side effects that can be followed longitudinally.” Sanjeev Kothare, from Children’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts, and Janelle Wagner, f...

The Lowdown on Phenytoin

One of the most commonly prescribed antiepileptic drugs is phenytoin, otherwise known as the brand name of Dilantin®. This medication which was discovered in 1938 was found to be one of the earliest agents with a potential to stop seizures, yet without causing sedation. As a result and because there were very few drugs in the early 20th century, phenytoin became one of the most popular seizure agents in the world, and to this date is still one of the most highly prescribed medications. This month’s epilepsy.com monthly column takes a closer look at this medication. Despite its popularity, phenytoin is rather complicated . This drug exerts its effect by impacting sodium channels on the membranes of neurons in the brain. By interacting with the sodium channels it is able to suppress a...

Lost Password

Register