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Epilepsy

Risk for Late-Onset Epilepsy Linked to a Class of Protein, Smoking, Diabetes

A recent study has shown that a class of proteins involved in the metabolism of fats in the body. Apolipoprotein E ε4 (APOE ε4) genotype and the presence of potentially modifiable risk factors such as smoking, hypertension, and diabetes in midlife are associated with a higher risk for late-onset epilepsy. Participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study were enrolled in it. At baseline, the investigators collected data on demographics, lifestyle factors, vascular status, and potential epilepsy risk factors. At first study visit, the median participant age was 55 years. The main outcome was the time to late-onset epilepsy development at age less than 60 years of age. Participants were followed from 1987-1989 through 2013. During follow-up, a total of 596 patients devel...

Circadian and circaseptan rhythms in human epilepsy

Results of a recent study suggest that seizure cycles are robust, patient specific, and more widespread than previously understood. They align with the accepted consensus that most epilepsies have some diurnal influence. Variations in seizure rate have important clinical implications. Detection and tracking of seizure cycles on a patient-specific basis should be standard in epilepsy management practices. Epilepsy has long been suspected to be governed by cyclic rhythms, with seizure rates rising and falling periodically over weeks, months, or even years. The very long scales of seizure patterns seem to defy natural explanation and have sometimes been attributed to hormonal cycles or environmental factors. The study aimed to quantify the strength and prevalence of seizure cycles at multiple...

Epilepsy in Children

Epilepsy is the most common neurological disorder affecting children, and may be characterized by sudden, recurrent episodes of uncontrolled motor activity and, in some cases, impaired consciousness (seizures). Any condition that triggers disruptive electrical discharges in the brain can produce epilepsy. Although the underlying abnormality may not be correctable, seizures themselves can usually be controlled through drug therapy. There are a number of relatively benign genetic epilepsies of childhood, some but not all of which may be outgrown. Common Causes of Epilepsy Seizures may develop as a result of a head injury, brain infection, brain tumor, drug or alcohol withdrawal or intoxication, stroke, birth trauma or metabolic imbalance. In most cases, the underlying cause of a child’s epil...

Moving Toward Enhanced Regenerative Medicine To Cure Epilepsy

At the border between regenerative medicine and neural engineering lies enhanced regenerative medicine. Using brain tissue modulated by electronic components, EU research has tackled the most common form of epilepsy. Photo© Gabriella Panuccio Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common form of epilepsy and yet, the most unresponsive to treatment. Patients have a typical pattern of progressive brain damage that affects cognitive and emotional processes.

Epilepsy – Signs and Symptoms You Must Know!

Epilepsy is a disorder in the central nervous system characterized by recurrent seizures. An unexpected rush of electrical activity inside the brain leads to a seizure. Brain activity becomes abnormal and leads to periods of unusual behaviour with loss of awareness at times. Seizures do not always include unusual muscle movements or convulsions. Untreated seizures can seriously affect the lives of children having them. Epilepsy affects both men and women regardless of their ethnic background and age. Signs of Epilepsy: A staring spell Momentary bewilderment Loss of consciousness Jerking movements of arms and legs. Panic or anxiety Kinds of Seizures: Seizures are normally classified as focal or generalized depending on the commencement of abnormal brain activity. Focal (partial) seizures re...

Understanding Epilepsy

The brain comprises nerves and nervous tissue. It sends signals through the nerves and the spinal cord to every part of the body using electrical impulses. In epilepsy, there is a surge of electrical activity in different parts of the body. This leads to a variety of symptoms, usually a seizure, but can be as inconspicuous as a loss of attention during an activity. About 65 million people worldwide have epilepsy. Anyone can develop epilepsy as it affects both males and females of all races, ethnic backgrounds and ages. But most common in the following people: • Males. • Children under two. • The elderly. • People with a family history of epilepsy. • People who had seizures as children. • People who have had a stroke. Epilepsy. Photo: Epilepsy Queensland Epilepsy is NOT contagious. When you...

Treatment of New-Onset Epilepsy: AAN, AES Update Practice Guidelines

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the American Epilepsy Society (AES) have provided new recommended practice guidelines for the management of new-onset and treatment-resistant epilepsy with anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs).1,2 The new guidelines highlight the evidence supporting the use of lamotrigine, vigabatrin, levetiracetam, pregabalin, gabapentin, and zonisamide for reducing the frequency of seizures in new-onset focal epilepsy and treatment-resistant epilepsy. An expert subcommittee was formed consisting of members of the AAN and AES to update the 2004 evidence-based guidelines on epilepsy treatment with AEDs. Based on recent evidence, the investigators recommend the use of gabapentin and topiramate in adults and children with newly diagnosed epilepsy. Class I and II studies sup...

Epilepsy: New findings ‘could change textbooks’

New research finds that two key brain proteins are involved in the neuronal misfiring that characterizes epilepsy. The findings “could potentially change textbooks” on epilepsy, according to the researchers, as well as pave the way for new therapies. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, making it one of the most widespread neurological conditions in the world. In the United States, 3.4 million people — or 1.2 percent of the population — live with the condition.

Flip a switch and shut down seizures? New research suggests how to turn off out-of-control signaling in the brain

The brain is a precision instrument. Its function depends on finely calibrated electrical activity triggering the release of chemical messages between neurons.But sometimes the brain’s careful balance is knocked out of control, as in epilepsy. Electroencephalography, or EEG, visualizes a brain’s electrical activity and can reveal how an epileptic seizure diverges from the predictable wave pattern of typical brain activity. The pattern of typical brain activity is very regular. During an epileptic seizure, the electrical activity erratically spikes. Rochelle Hines, CC BY-ND There’s limited possibility of predicting a seizure, and no way to intervene even when you can predict. Although pharmaceuticals are available to people dealing with epilepsy, they are fraught with side effects, and they...

Cognition and Dementia in Older Patients With Epilepsy

With advances in healthcare and an ageing population, the number of older adults with epilepsy is set to rise substantially across the world. In developed countries the highest incidence of epilepsy is already in people over 65 and, as life expectancy increases, individuals who developed epilepsy at a young age are also living longer. Recent findings show that older persons with epilepsy are more likely to suffer from cognitive dysfunction and that there might be an important bidirectional relationship between epilepsy and dementia. Thus some people with epilepsy may be at a higher risk of developing dementia, while individuals with some forms of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, are at significantly higher risk of developing epilepsy. Consistent with ...

Long-Term Cannabis Use May Lead To Serious Memory Impairments

LANCASTER, United Kingdom — Cannabis-based products are being touted for their potential therapeutic uses on conditions from epilepsy to anxiety, but even as marijuana legalization continues to widen, scientists are still raising red flags. A new study finds that long-term use of cannabis or cannabis-based drugs can disturb areas of the brain that control memory, causing “significant impairments.” Prior research has shown that regular cannabis consumption was linked to an increased risk of heart problems as well as psychosis and schizophrenia, but the effects of long-term cannabinoid use are not so clear.

Music & Epilepsy

How does music affect persons with epilepsy? In some cases it can alleviate symptoms, whereas in others it can make matters worse. Music and epilepsy Epilepsy that’s triggered by musical stimulation is known as musicogenic epilepsy. This form of epilepsy was first noted by British Neurologist Macdonald Critchely in 1937. Musicogenic epilepsy can be described as a form of reflex epilepsy (epilepsy that is triggered by a stimulus). Seizures are induced by exposure to a certain type of music. The musical trigger is different for everyone. For some, it may be a specific song, whereas others are triggered by a pitch or instrument. According to a study of the disorder, a response can be linked to emotional or cognitive appreciation of the stimulus. Simply thinking or dreaming about the stimulati...