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Folate May Limit Language Delays in Kids of Epileptic Women

Not using folic acid before and during pregnancy increased risks substantially. Supplemental folic acid before pregnancy and during the first trimester may limit language development problems in children exposed to anti-epileptic drugs in utero. Note that the study suggests that beginning supplemental folic acid prior to pregnancy and continuing it through at least the first trimester does have substantial benefit for children of women with epilepsy on anti-epileptic drugs.

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 ...

Medical cannabis for epilepsy approved in FDA first

In the context of an ever-louder international debate on whether patients with severe forms of epilepsy should be allowed to use medical cannabis to manage their condition, the Food and Drug Administration have just officially approved one such drug.   The Food and Drug Administration have just approved a cannabis-based drug for the first time.  

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...

Epilepsy, Medical Marijuana and CBD: Myths and Facts

While a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recently recommended pharmaceutical-grade cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment for two rare forms of epilepsy, CBD medication is not the same thing as medical marijuana, which is more available than ever before and promoted for wide variety of health conditions. The American Epilepsy Society (AES) wants to alert the 3 million people with epilepsy about the myths and facts related to CBD medication – derived from one of the many compounds found in in cannabis (the marijuana plant) – and medical marijuana.   Medical marijuana, which is now legal in 29 states as well as the District of Columbia, refers to the physician-prescribed use of the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant or its basic extracts to treat the symptoms of an illness and othe...

Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits with Epilepsy 2018

If you or someone you love has epilepsy, you may be eligible for benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Epilepsy will not qualify with a diagnosis alone, but depending on what type of seizures you have and how well you’re able to control your symptoms, you may be eligible for monthly financial aid. Medically Qualifying Via the Blue Book The SSA uses its own medical guide, known as the Blue Book, when determining whether or not an applicant is eligible for Social Security disability benefits. In October 2017, the SSA updated its Blue Book listing for epilepsy. Right now, there are four ways to qualify instead of just two, and the SSA no longer uses outdated terms like “grand mal” seizures. It will be slightly easier for people with tonic-clonic seizures to qualify for disab...

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...

Epilepsy does not impact likelihood of pregnancy

Women with epilepsy, without previous infertility and related disorders, who were attempting to get pregnant were as likely to conceive as their counterparts without epilepsy, according to findings recently published in JAMA Neurology. “Prior studies report lower birth rates for women with epilepsy but have been unable to differentiate between biological and social contributions,” Page B. Pennell, MD, department of neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and colleagues wrote. “To our knowledge, we do not have data to inform [women with epilepsy] seeking pregnancy if their likelihood of achieving pregnancy is biologically reduced compared with their peers.”

Can CBD oil help with migraines?

Cannabidiol oil comes from the marijuana plant, but it contains only trace amounts, if any, of the compound that produces a high. While cannabidiol oil has no psychoactive effects, it may relieve pain, and it shows some promise as a treatment for migraines.   More research is needed to determine whether cannabidiol (CBD) oil is safe and effective. Also, because products derived from the marijuana, or cannabis, plant tend to be unregulated, it is difficult to ensure the quality and quantity of ingredients.  

Detecting mosaic variation in parents improves genetic counseling

Mosaic variations in the cells of a parent may explain why childhood epilepsy strikes twice in some families   Advances in genetic testing offer new insights to parents who have a child with a rare but serious form of epilepsy, epileptic encephalopathy (EE), found in one of about every 2,000 births and characterized by developmental disabilities as well as horrible seizures. Previously, it was thought that EE occurred at random, but it is now known that EE is often caused by a new genetic mutation in the child. These mutations are rarely present in the parents, so they are counseled that it is unlikely that they will have a second child with EE.   New ways of sequencing the human genome mean geneticists and genetic counselors have much more to say to parents who wonder if future ...

Memory-boosting brain implants are in the works. Would you get one?

Neural prostheses look promising in new studies, though there’s still a lot of work to do.   How far would you go to keep your mind from failing? Would you go so far as to let a doctor drill a hole in your skull and stick a microchip in your brain?   It’s not an idle question. In recent years neuroscientists have made major advances in cracking the code of memory, figuring out exactly how the human brain stores information and learning to reverse-engineer the process. Now they’ve reached the stage where they’re starting to put all of that theory into practice.   Last month two research teams reported success at using electrical signals, carried into the brain via implanted wires, to boost memory in small groups of test patients. “It’s a major milestone in demonstrating...