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Absence

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...

Childhood Absence Epilepsy: 5 Things You Need to Know

Childhood absence epilepsy (CAE), a syndrome that occurs in 1 out of 1000 children, is one of the most common types of early childhood (first decade) seizures. A classic CAE scenario may be that of a little girl who has just started kindergarten and has periods of “blanking out” every day. Her teacher calls out her name, but she does not respond. She sometimes blinks her eyes a few times and is back to “normal” in about 20 seconds. The teacher alerts the parents, who then make an appointment to see the pediatrician. Typically, the parents report never noticing these episodes at home.

Puzzle of Impaired Consciousness in Absence Epilepsy Solved?

Intense abnormal activity in well-known brain networks that occurs early in a seizure may be the key to impaired consciousness in children with absence epilepsy, new research suggests.

New Epilepsy Tactic: Fight Inflammation

In November 2008, when he was just 6, William Moller had his first epileptic seizure, during a reading class at school. For about 20 seconds, he simply froze in place, as if someone had pressed a pause button. He could not respond to his teacher. This is known as an absence seizure, and over the next year William, now 10, who lives with his family in Brooklyn, went from having one or two a day to suffering constant seizures. Not all were absence seizures; others were frightening tonic-clonics, also known as grand mals, during which he lost consciousness and convulsed. The seizures often came while he was eating. As his body went rigid, William dropped his food and his eyes rolled back into their sockets. If he seized while standing, he suddenly crashed to the ground — in a corridor, in the...