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Pioneering research reveals how altered brain networks can lead to seizures

An international team of scientists, led by mathematicians from the University of Exeter’s Living Systems Institute, have developed a ground-breaking new method that can identify regions of brain tissue most likely to generate seizures in people with epilepsy. The innovative new method, which utilizes mathematical modelling, offers the potential to complement existing clinical approaches and could lead to enhanced surgical outcomes. The new research is published in leading scientific journal, PLOS Computational Biology. Epilepsy, which affects around 1 in 100 people worldwide, is predominantly treated by a range of medications. However, in around a third of cases people do not experience adequate seizure control through drugs and alternative therapies are sought. In some instances su...

Epilepsy biomarkers pave way for noninvasive diagnosis, better treatments

Researchers have identified a unique metabolic signature associated with epileptic brain tissue that causes seizures. The chemical biomarker can be detected noninvasively using technology based on magnetic resonance imaging. It will allow physicians to precisely identify small regions of abnormal brain tissue in early-stage epilepsy patients that can’t be detected today using current technology. The biomarker could also be used to localize epileptic brain regions for therapeutic removal without the need for additional surgery.

Suppressing epileptic seizures via Anderson localization

More than 50 million people of all ages suffer from epilepsy, otherwise known as seizure disorder, the fourth most common neurological disease in the world. Patients diagnosed with epilepsy often experience recurrent seizures triggered by the firing of a large collection of neurons in the brain. This ultimately generates a high-energy wave that spreads across the surface of the brain, resulting in numerous physical effects such as erratic body shaking, unconsciousness, exhaustion, and pain.

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.

SLATE clinical trial uses Medtronic Visualase MRI-guided laser ablation system to treat common form of epilepsy

Medtronic plc (NYSE: MDT) announced today that the first procedure using the Visualase(TM) MRI-Guided Laser Ablation System has been performed in the pivotal SLATE (Stereotactic Laser Ablation for Temporal Lobe Epilepsy) clinical trial at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

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.

UVA researchers begin first clinical trial using focused ultrasound to treat patients with epilepsy

Researchers at the University of Virginia (UVA) are starting the first clinical trial in the world using focused ultrasound to treat patients with epilepsy. The study, supported by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation in collaboration with the Epilepsy Foundation, will assess the feasibility, safety and initial effectiveness of focused ultrasound to non-invasively destroy (ablate) diseased brain tissue that causes seizures. The study is now recruiting up to 15 adult patients with a range of rare deep brain lesions that produce debilitating seizures that often do not respond to medications. It is expected that most patients in the study will have benign tumors in the hypothalamus, which can lead to frequent seizures with outbursts of spontaneous laughing, giggling, crying or grunting; developm...

How technology is reducing seizures in patients with epilepsy

Via Miami Herald When 29-year-old Krystle Thrasher was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2011, she often had 10 to 15 seizures a month despite taking medication to help control her seizure activity. “After a seizure, I would be tired and just want to go to bed,” said Thrasher, a paralegal who lives in Sunrise with her husband and 9-month-old son. Epilepsy, the fourth most common neurological disorder, is defined by recurrent and unprovoked seizures. Seizure frequency varies depending on the type of seizure disorder, with some patients experiencing several seizures daily while others don’t have seizures for years at a time.

Researchers Develop A Sensor the Size of Sand

A new sensor built by several campus researchers has far-reaching potential to treat serious conditions such as paraplegia and epilepsy once implanted inside the body — all at the size of a grain of sand. The battery-free, wireless sensor is the first of its kind to record and relay bodily vital signs in real time using ultrasound. Published in the journal Neuron earlier this month, research on the sensor could catalyze advances in medicine by revealing an efficient way to monitor, and eventually control, numerous bodily functions. “The applications are as far as you can imagine — whatever you want to do,” said study co-author Ryan Neely, noting that the technology was originally designed to help paraplegic patients control robotic limbs. READ MORE AT SOURCE: http://www.dailycal.org/2016/0...

Brain Implant that ‘Dissolves’ Over Time

An implantable brain device that literally melts away at a pre-determined rate minimizes injury to tissue normally associated with standard electrode implantation, according to research led by a team from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The researchers describe online in Nature Materials a new class of technology that provides greater resolution for measuring electrical activity in space and time that matches or exceeds existing methods. “Dissolvable silicon electronics offer an unprecedented opportunity to implant advanced monitoring systems that eliminate the risks, cost, and discomfort associated with surgery to extract current devices used for post-operative monitoring,” said senior co-author Brian Litt, MD, a professor of Neurology, Neuro...

BREAKTHROUGH: SCANNING THE BRAIN FOR AUTISM

Brain scan method may help detect autism Date: April 14, 2016 Source: Brown University Summary: Scientists report a new degree of success in using brain scans to distinguish between adults diagnosed with autism and people without the disorder, an advance that could lead to the development of a diagnostic tool. Many doctors and scientists think they could improve the diagnosis and understanding of autism spectrum disorders if they had reliable means to identify specific abnormalities in the brain. Such “biomarkers” have proven elusive, often because methods that show promise with one group of patients fail when applied to another. In a new study in Nature Communications, however, scientists report a new degree of success. Their proposed biomarker worked with a comparably high de...

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