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Epilepsy

Stem cell discovery could aid in developing treatments to control epileptic convulsions

A new line of human stem cells shows promise for one day advancing treatment for epileptic seizures. As reported in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine (SCTM), the cells are designed to deliver adenosine – which calms down overexcited neurons and protects them from damage — to the central nervous system (CNS). The research was conducted by scientists at the University of Bonn and the Central Institute of Mental Health (CIMH) in Mannheim. Adenosine is a powerful regulator that helps the body maintain its inner balance. When an injury occurs to the CNS, it releases high levels of adenosine, which calms down the overexcited neurons and alleviates neurological damage caused by stroke, trauma, reduced oxygen, pain and, in particular, epileptic seizures. “But attempts to systemically deliver adeno...

Soundwaves and viruses used to ‘switch off’ memory formation

Tool could open up the brain to precision DNA-editing techniques which allow cellular functions to be turned on or changed at will Researchers have shown it’s possible to temporarily block the brain from forming new memories using a combination of sound waves, viruses and drugs. Using ultrasound blasts California Institute of Technology (Caltech) researchers have been able to temporarily open the brain’s protective barrier to treatments, where usually surgery would be required. In this way they hope it could one day be possible to non-invasively manage epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions that currently rely on going under the knife. However in the shorter term it is more likely the advance, dubbed “acoustically targeted chemogenetics” in the journal ...

FOR PERSONS WITH EPILEPSY – MOZART MAY BE MEDICINAL

New research confirms listening to a much-studied Mozart sonata has an anti-epileptic effect on children. The Mozart Effect —the notion that listening to music of the classical-era master, particularly his sublime Sonata for Two Pianos, can boost brain power—has experienced something of a renaissance. While some claims that circulated during its early ’90s media frenzy have been debunked, periodic studies have provided evidence that Mozart’s music improves cognition in young and old alike. New research from the University of Edinburgh provides confirmation it can be very beneficial for one specific group of people: children suffering from epilepsy. A common test that detects electrical activity in the brain reveals “there is an anti-epileptic effect of Mozart music,”...

The History of Epilepsy

People have known about epilepsy for thousands of years but have not understood it until recently. The ancient Babylonians wrote about the symptoms and causes of epilepsy 3000 years ago. They thought that seizures were caused by demons attacking the person. Different spirits were thought to cause the different kinds of seizures.

Self-Management Programs Help with Epilepsy

For more than 10 years, the CDC Managing Epilepsy Well Network has developed and offered innovative self-management programs. Learn how people with epilepsy can better manage their condition by taking advantage of programs that work.   The Importance of Epilepsy Self-Management   Epilepsy is a broad term used for a brain disorder that causes seizures. Epilepsy can get in the way of life, mostly when seizures keep happening. Although there are many medicines to help prevent seizures, they don’t always work. In fact, more than half (56%) of adults with active epilepsy who take anti-seizure medicines are still having seizures.1 Uncontrolled seizures can increase the risk of injury, anxiety, depression, brain damage, and in rare cases, death. They can also interfere with activities s...

Research reveals underappreciated role of brainstem in epilepsy

New research from Vanderbilt suggests that repeated seizures reduce brainstem connectivity, a possible contributor to unexplained neurocognitive problems in epilepsy patients. The brainstem has been rarely studied in epilepsy because seizures typically originate in the temporal lobe or other areas of the cortex. Noting that people with temporal lobe epilepsy often lose consciousness even though the temporal lobe does not control wakefulness, Dario Englot, MD, Ph.D., surgical director of epilepsy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said he decided to focus on the region that does control wakefulness—the brainstem. He hypothesized that connectivity disruptions with the brainstem resulting from a history of seizures might play a role in diminished cognitive functions that are not related...

Prediction method for epileptic seizures developed

Epileptic seizures strike with little warning and nearly one third of people living with epilepsy are resistant to treatment that controls these attacks. More than 65 million people worldwide are living with epilepsy.

With Epilepsy on The Rise, Thousands of Americans Are Turning To The Internet For Advice

Epilepsy is on the rise in the USA, recent figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirm. According to a 2018 report issued by the CDC, “Active Epilepsy and Seizure Control in Adults — United States, 2013 and 2015”, the number of Americans self-reporting epilepsy rose from 2.3 million in 2010, to approximately 3 million in 2015. A 1994 report — Current Trends Prevalence of Self-Reported Epilepsy, United States, 1986-1990 — estimated that the number of Americans with self reported epilepsy was just 1.1 million at the time. Why we built the 100% non-profit EpilepsyU.com for U www.EpilepsyU.com reaches an average of 1.3 million visitors each month!) An increasing number of Americans are utilizing the internet for advice about their condition highlighting the...

Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Treatment Commences Clinical Trial Recruitment

This week, AMO Pharma Limited announced the commencement of patient recruitment for an interventional study of AMO-01, an investigational Ras-ERK pathway inhibitor for the treatment of Phelan-McDermid syndrome (PMS).   “Treatment of Phelan-McDermid syndrome represents a significant area of unmet need in healthcare, and AMO Pharma is grateful to the research team at Mt. Sinai as well as the Phelan McDermid Syndrome Foundation for their commitment to this landmark research effort,” said Michael Snape, PhD, CEO of AMO Pharma. “Research thus far indicates that AMO-01 could have important applications in the treatment of patients living with Phelan-McDermid syndrome in the years ahead.”

FDA Approves Medtronic’s Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy for Refractory Epilepsy

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted premarket approval for Medtronic’s Deep Brain Stimulation DBS) therapy as adjunctive treatment for reducing the frequency of partial-onset seizures in individuals 18 years of age or older who are refractory to 3 or more antiepileptic medications.   The therapy delivers controls electrical pulses to the anterior nucleus of the thalamus, a target in the brain that is part of a network involved in seizures.

Research reveals new insights into severe childhood epilepsy

Genetic research reveals new insights into severe childhood epilepsy   In a new study on children with severe forms of epilepsy, researchers have found the genetic copying mistake that causes the severe epilepsy in children can be found in their parents who do not have epilepsy.   “The research findings are important for reproductive counselling because these young parents are often in the middle of forming their families,” says one of the researchers Associate Professor Sadleir, from the University of Otago, Wellington   The study, a collaborative research project between the University of Washington, University of Melbourne and University of Otago, Wellington, has just been published in the international journal New England Journal of Medicine.   “Our collaborators in...

How does epilepsy affect the brain and nervous system?

The brain and central nervous system Epilepsy is typically associated with symptoms of seizure. As such, the primary area that the condition affects is the central nervous system. The brain acts as the central hub in the body. Here, all voluntary and involuntary movements are controlled. Normally, electrical activity runs through the body’s nerve cells and assists the brain is sending messages or telling the body how to behave, react or move. Where there is a dysfunction, abnormal signals disrupt this process and cause distress. This brings on seizures:   Generalized seizures: This type involves both sides of the brain and results in loss of consciousness. A person may experience absence seizures or petit mal seizures (lasting about half a minute or less) which cause blank staring (ab...