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LivaNova Launches Study to Assess VNS Therapy in Drug-resistant Epilepsy Patients

September 12, 2018:  LivaNova PLC announced the first implanted patient and official launch of a global registry to evaluate the use of LivaNova’s Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy® (VNS Therapy) System for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE), which affects nearly one in three people with epilepsy.1 The Comprehensive Outcomes Registry in Subjects with Epilepsy Treated with VNS Therapy (CORE-VNS) study will enroll up to 2,000 patients with five-year follow-up data, yielding one of the largest data sets in the world for DRE patients treated with various generations of VNS Therapy. Data from CORE-VNS will contribute to the body of research related to this disease state and advance the science behind VNS Therapy by evaluating the safety, effectiveness and clinical outcomes for patients. ...

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...

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...

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 Reports a Life-Threatening Immune Reaction to Lamotrigine: What You Should Know

A rare but life-threatening immune reaction in response to lamotrigine (Lamictal) requires prompt diagnosis and treatment, according to a recent alert from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).   On April 25, the FDA issued what it calls a “drug safety communication” about the risk of a condition so rare that few neurologists have heard of it: hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a systematic immune reaction that can result in organ failure and death if not quickly treated.   Just eight such cases associated with lamotrigine, including one death, are known by the FDA to have occurred since the drug was first approved in 1994 as a treatment for epilepsy. Since then, it has also been approved for bipolar disorder, and is now increasingly prescribed off-label...

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.

Educational Attainment Down With In Utero Exposure to AEDs

Exposure to sodium valproate or a combination of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in utero is associated with worse attainment on national educational tests for 7-year-olds, according to a study published online March 26 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. Arron S. Lacey, from Swansea University Medical School in the United Kingdom, and colleagues identified children born to mothers with epilepsy and linked these children to their national attainment Key Stage 1 (KS1) tests in mathematics, language, and science at age 7. The children were compared with matched children born to mothers without epilepsy.

Brain training devised by Brighton researcher cuts epileptic seizures

Brain training devised by a Brighton clinical researcher can cut the number and frequency of epileptic seizures in patients who have not responded to drug treatment.   Details of the groundbreaking research have been published in The Lancet and Cell Press journal Ebiomedicine.   One in 100 people suffer with epilepsy – 50 million people worldwide – with about 30 per cent of them apparently unable to benefit from drugs to manage the condition.   About half of those taking part in clinical trials reported that the technique reduced seizures by 50 per cent or more.   It was invented by Yoko Nagai, Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, run jointly by Brighton University and Sussex University.   The technique is seen as an alternative...

Nanotubes go with the flow to penetrate brain tissue

Rice University researchers have invented a device that uses fast-moving fluids to insert flexible, conductive carbon nanotube fibers into the brain, where they can help record the actions of neurons.   The Rice team’s microfluidics-based technique promises to improve therapies that rely on electrodes to sense neuronal signals and trigger actions in patients with epilepsy and other conditions.

Experiment Reveals Potency of Ultrasound in Treatment of Disease

A study has revealed that ultrasound can be key in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological diseases (including epilepsy) in the future.   An experiment that tested a macaque monkey and sheep has revealed that directing bursts of inaudible acoustic energy at a specific visual area of the brain can control the animals’ responses. The results, which were presented at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting held recently, revealed that focused ultrasound used in the said animals could safely and effectively alter brain activity rather than destroy tissue.

Funnel web spiders’ ‘beautiful molecules’ show promise for treating epilepsy, stroke

Several new Australian-developed medicines showing promise treating childhood epilepsy, stroke and autoimmune diseases have emerged from an unusual source: the fangs of venomous creatures. Big pharmaceutical companies are excited by results showing these new venom-drugs are often superior to man-made drugs, and they are starting to pour money into research.

Cannabidiol benefits and mechanisms shown in mouse study of Dravet syndrome

Treatment with cannabidiol reduces some major symptoms in mice with a genetic condition recapitulating Dravet syndrome, a devastating childhood brain disorder.   Cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating substance among the several active compounds derived from Cannabis plants. This molecule can also be produced synthetically.   The results of its use to treat Dravet syndrome are reported in the latest edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS.