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childhood epilepsy

Scientists pinpoint the cause of a rare childhood seizure disorder

Early Infantile Epileptic Encephalopathy (EIEE) is a rare disease that causes intractable seizures within the first few months of life. Over 50 genes have been linked to EIEE, meaning the condition is difficult to diagnose. Now, bioinformatics experts from the University of Utah Health have created a set of high-tech, computational tools that can pinpoint the cause of the condition. Photo Credit: By Mama Belle Love kids If EIEE is not diagnosed and treated early on, the seizures can interrupt normal development and lead to early death. Researchers have identified 50 genes linked to EIEE, but standard genetic testing often fails to detect the cause of the disease, meaning treatment approaches are limited to managing a child’s symptoms. Now, rather than undergoing multiple tests, the new too...

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.

Data Lacking to Explain Why US Doctors Prefer Keppra to Treat Pediatric Epilepsy

Doctors have several anti-seizure options to treat epilepsy, but little data exists to show which of these treatments is best for children. Nevertheless, according to a recent study on therapies prescribed for children under 3 with epilepsy, doctors in the U.S. appear to prefer Keppra (levetiracetam) as either a first or second option for treatment.

Health & Wellness: Detecting childhood epilepsy — it’s not their attention span

Sometimes Shelby would be there, but not “all there.” At the dinner table, her parents and siblings would catch her “zoning out”; she’d stop paying attention to the conversation and need to be jostled back to focus. They’d chide her for being so rude, then continue with their meal. It was just one of her quirks, they reasoned, and she’d grow out of it eventually.

Metformin shows promise as a potential treatment for fragile X syndrome

An inherited form of intellectual disability called fragile X may be treatable with metformin, the most widely used type 2 diabetes drug. This was the conclusion that researchers came to after studying the social, behavioral, and biological effects of metformin in a mouse model of fragile X. Research has shown that metformin, a drug used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, could be used to treat fragile X syndrome and other similar disorders.

Maternal linked to childhood epilepsy

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease whereby the body’s own immune system attacks the joints. New research suggests there may be a link between mothers with the autoimmune disorder and their children who develop epilepsy.

New insights on strategies to treat infants with seizures

New recommendations offer insights on strategies for treating infants with seizures. In an Epilepsia report, child neurologists who are members of the International League Against Epilepsy note that intervening at the time of a febrile seizure does not alter the risk for subsequent epilepsy, and there is no evidence to support the use of antiepileptic drugs for simple febrile seizures. However, recurrent seizures warrant an urgent assessment, and a variety of antiepileptic drugs may benefit these patients. Unfortunately, there is no high level evidence to support the use of any one particular drug among those that are currently available for use in infants with seizures. “Whilst this report provided some recommendations, for the most part it identified the significant lack of evidenc...

European scientists identify gene linked with certain types of early-onset epilepsy

Treatment may help prevent poor brain development in some cases Certain types of early-onset epilepsy are caused by previously unknown mutations of a potassium channel gene, KCNA2. The mutations disrupt the electrical balance in the brain in two ways. In some patients, the flow of potassium is greatly reduced; while in others, it is raised enormously. Both states can lead to hard-to-treat epileptic seizures. Mental and motor development can come to a stop, or even to regress. These findings were made by a group of European scientists led by researchers at the Universities of Leipzig and Tübingen. Their results are published in the latest Nature Genetics.

FEATURED BLOG: Epilepsy woke me up this morning

This morning laying in bed, just opening my eyes from a deep sleep, here is what was going through my mind. My 14-year-old daughter had her first seizures in February. Within days, she was diagnosed as having epilepsy and prescribed anti-epileptic medicine. On March 4, about a week after being back in school she had another seizure in math class. The doctor gave her  a new medicine. As of today, she has not had any more seizures. The medicine is working.

Anxiety in Children’s Epilepsy Tied to Differences in Brain Structure

Children with both epilepsy and anxiety have volumetric brain changes similar to those found in non-epileptic patients with anxiety, according to new research presented at the 30th International Epilepsy Congress (IEC). “Frequently, anxiety in epilepsy is viewed as a result of the unpredictability of seizures and is not treated,” said Jana Jones, PhD, assistant professor in neuropsychology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison.

The ‘PURPLExity’ of Epilepsy

Epilepsy. What is the first word you think of? Most people imagine someone foaming at the mouth, falling on the floor, and shaking all over. A full on seizure. However, that is not quite true. In many cases, epilepsy is an invisible illness that goes unnoticed by the average person. If someone does have a seizure, too often the average person panics and provides the wrong first aid, more harmful than helpful. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder which causes the brain to misfire, setting off a series of seizures. Epilepsy can occur in one part of the brain, but sometimes affects the entire body’s functions. Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with epilepsy. I attended Allegany College of Maryland, the Somerset Campus. During my freshman year, I had a class called Survey of American Literat...

Fasting Plus the Ketogenic Diet found to be amazingly effective!

Dec. 6, 2012 — Children with persistent and drug-resistant seizures treated with the high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet may get an added therapeutic benefit from periodic fasting, according to a small Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study. The results, published online Dec. 3 in the journal Epilepsy Research, suggest the ketogenic diet and fasting can work in tandem to reduce seizures but appear do so through different mechanisms — a finding that challenges the longstanding assumption that the two share a common mechanism. “Our findings suggest that fasting does not merely intensify the therapeutic effects of the ketogenic diet but may actually represent an entirely new way to change the metabolism of children with epilepsy,” says lead investigator Adam Hartm...

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