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


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.

Reaching the ‘Final Third’ – how big data and advanced analytics are changing the game in epilepsy

It’s often been said that big data holds the keys to the transformation of healthcare delivery and disease management. And, it’s no surprise that healthcare systems across the world are looking closely at where data and advanced analytical techniques can have the biggest impacts on patient outcomes. Epilepsy is a very good example of a condition where the cure is likely to involve data and life sciences working closely together. Epilepsy is a challenge in many regards. Despite having been first documented in 400BC, there’s still no absolute cure, and it continues to affect over 60 million people worldwide. Doctors must rely on patient-reported seizures and anecdotal evidence and often will need EEGs, MRIs and other kinds of scan for proper diagnosis – which can take 4-5 years. And, there a...

Spider venom strikes a blow against childhood epilepsy

A devastating form of childhood epilepsy that is resistant to traditional drugs may have met its match in spider venom. Researchers from The University of Queensland and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health discovered that a peptide in spider venom can restore the neural deficiencies that trigger seizures associated with Dravet syndrome. UQ Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) Professor Glenn King said the study in mice could be an important step towards better therapeutic strategies for the rare and life-threatening type of epilepsy developed by children in their first year of life.

Rewiring the brain to fight epilepsy

Biologist Suzanne Paradis’ lab suppressed seizures in mice by changing the connections between neurons. Researchers in the lab of Associate Professor of Biology Suzanne Paradis have discovered a novel treatment for reducing seizure activity in the brains of rodents, a discovery they hope might one day help people living with epilepsy. An estimated 2.2 million Americans suffer from epilepsy and 20 to 30 percent of these individuals live with seizures that do not respond to current medications. Photo: Mike Lovett Suzanne Paradis

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.

Hmmm . . . Iranian scientists claim to develop cure for epilepsy

TEHRAN — A team of Iranian scientists has claimed to produce an effective cure for epilepsy using three medicinal herbs, ISNA reported on Friday. “Medications used to treat epilepsy such as phenobarbital have side effects and should be taken regularly for life,” the project manager Reza Mazloum Farsibaf, has said. Common side effects of phenobarbital include dizziness, drowsiness, problems with memory or concentration, irritability, aggression, confusion (especially in children or older adults), loss of balance or coordination, headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or constipation as your body adjusts to the medication.

Insight without incision: Advances in noninvasive brain imaging offers improvements to epilepsy surgery

About a third of epilepsy sufferers require treatment through surgery. To check for severe epilepsy, clinicians use a surgical procedure called electrocorticography (ECoG). An ECoG maps a section of brain tissue to help clinicians identify areas damaged by seizures. “But ECoG requires taking a part of your skull out and putting electrodes directly on brain tissue,” said Professor Pulkit Grover, a professor in Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. An ECoG thus leaves a patient prone to infection. To find an alternative to ECoG, Grover’s team investigated making the non-invasive electroencephalogram (EEG) more effective by increasing electrode density and improving inference algorithms. He and the team recently presented their...

Study: Protein found to be key component in irregularly excited brain cells

In a new study in mice, researchers have identified a key protein involved in the irregular brain cell activity seen in autism spectrum disorders and epilepsy. The protein, p53, is well-known in cancer biology as a tumor suppressor. The findings, reported in the journal Human Molecular Genetics, will open new avenues for understanding the factors that contribute to these developmental disabilities, said Nien-Pei Tsai, a University of Illinois professor of molecular and integrative physiology who led the new research. “Under physiologically normal circumstances, neurons are able to readjust their excitability: the strength at which neurons are firing,” Tsai said. “But in autism spectrum disorders, such as Fragile X syndrome, and in epilepsy, you see higher levels of excita...

Protein Found In Worms Helps To Stop Seizure Activity

Exciting new research that involves using a protein in worms to suppress seizures, could spell hope in the future for thousands of people with epilepsy. Scientists at University College London (UCL) have used a chemical found in worms to reduce seizure activity in  the brains of epileptic rats. The chemical produces a protein that quietens down brain activity when glutamate levels build up causing neuronal excitement in the brain. The chemical is delivered into the brain by injecting it through the skull inside a harmless virus. Using a technique called gene therapy, this enables the worm DNA to spread throughout the brain. Great hope for the future Epilepsy Society’s medical director Professor Ley Sander described the new technique as very promising but cautioned that there was stil...

Understanding absence epilepsy

Research by Cardiff University has uncovered the brain activity that underlies absence epilepsy, offering new hope for the development of innovative therapies for this disabling disease. Absence epilepsy – the most common form of epilepsy in children and teenagers – causes episodes of lack of awareness which are often mistaken for daydreaming. The brain activity that causes this form of epilepsy has remained poorly understood, until recent research has observed this activity for the first time. An international team of researchers led by Professor Vincenzo Crunelli, from Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences, investigated the types of electrical activity that occurred in the brains of mice during an absence seizure. Professor Crunelli said: “Although the origin of absence epilepsy rem...

Implantable Device Provides New Treatment Option for Epilepsy Patients

Richard Pollitt was at the end of his rope after years of suffering regular seizures, with some lasting five minutes and preventing him from working and enjoying his favorite pastimes. Desperate for relief after medications did not work, Pollitt had a small battery-powered device implanted in his skull to control seizures. Now he rarely has them. Photo Credit: Houston Methodist After experiencing four to five seizures a week for six years, Richard Pollitt, left, had a device implanted in his brain to help prevent seizures. The device provides data that allows his physician, Houston Methodist neurologist Amit Verma, M.D., right, to track the activity of his brain and the device to improve care.

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.