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Epilepsy

Epilepsy: New findings ‘could change textbooks’

New research finds that two key brain proteins are involved in the neuronal misfiring that characterizes epilepsy. The findings “could potentially change textbooks” on epilepsy, according to the researchers, as well as pave the way for new therapies. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, making it one of the most widespread neurological conditions in the world. In the United States, 3.4 million people — or 1.2 percent of the population — live with the condition.

How does epilepsy affect the brain and nervous system?

The brain and central nervous system Epilepsy is typically associated with symptoms of seizure. As such, the primary area that the condition affects is the central nervous system. The brain acts as the central hub in the body. Here, all voluntary and involuntary movements are controlled. Normally, electrical activity runs through the body’s nerve cells and assists the brain is sending messages or telling the body how to behave, react or move. Where there is a dysfunction, abnormal signals disrupt this process and cause distress. This brings on seizures:   Generalized seizures: This type involves both sides of the brain and results in loss of consciousness. A person may experience absence seizures or petit mal seizures (lasting about half a minute or less) which cause blank staring (ab...

What Modern Day Challenges Affect Epilepsy Treatment?

Researchers recently published an article in The Lancet Neurology discussing the difficulties facing seizure detection in patients with epilepsy.   Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that is characterised by short repetitive epileptic seizures. These seizures can be harmful to the individual depending on the circumstances in which they occur, such as a seizure while driving. This disorder is set apart from other neurological disorders since there is a broad range of different physiological changes that can cause it, leading to a large variation in symptoms and making it difficult to treat. While 70% of sufferers can be treated with pharmacological agents, 30% have no reliable anti-epileptic drugs that are effective for their particular type of epilepsy.

Epilepsy tied to severe hypoglycemia in type 2 diabetes

Adults with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk for epilepsy, especially in the presence of severe hypoglycemia, compared with adults without type 2 diabetes, according to findings published in Diabetes Research & Clinical Practice.   Chung-Yi Lu, PhD, professor in the department and graduate Institute of Public Health at the College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan, and colleagues evaluated data from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance claims on 751,792 adults with type 2 diabetes (mean age, 59.51 years; 51% women) and 824,253 matched controls (mean age, 59.47 years; 51% women) identified between 2002 and 2003 to determine the potential link between type 2 diabetes and epilepsy and the role that severe hypoglycemia may play in the relationship. Participants...

What to know about complex partial seizures

A complex partial seizure is a type of seizure that arises in one lobe of the brain, rather than the whole brain. The seizure affects people’s awareness and may cause them to lose consciousness.   Complex partial seizures are now more commonly referred to as focal onset impaired awareness seizures or focal impaired awareness seizures.

Over 1/3 of New Cases of Epilepsy are Treatment Refractory

More than one-third of patients with newly diagnosed epilepsy do not respond to treatment with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), according to a study published online in JAMA Neurology. Zhibin Chen, PhD, from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and colleagues conducted a longitudinal observational cohort study to assess long-term outcomes in 1795 patients with newly diagnosed and treated epilepsy. Patients were followed for a minimum of 2 years or until death.

How to deal with epilepsy

Epilepsy is a condition where the nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed.  Epilepsy is a disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations and sometimes loss of consciousness.  People with epilepsy behave differently. Some simply stare blankly for a few seconds during a seizure, while others repeatedly twitch their arms or legs.  You need to have two unprovoked seizures to be diagnosed with epilepsy. All seizures need to be treated because they can be dangerous during activities such as driving or swimming.

What should you do if a friend has a seizure?

Ten percent of people are expected to experience a seizure at some point during their lifetime, but would you know what to do if someone was having a seizure right next to you? Would you recognize it for what it was? Here, we give you an overview of different types of seizures and offer some helpful first aid tips.

What Are Epileptic Seizures and What Causes Them?

A person can suffer from an epileptic seizure (also frequently known as an epileptic fit) when they experience abnormal electrical activity in the brain. This can be a serious medical condition, and any member of the population could potentially experience an epileptic seizure at some point in their lives. In this article, we’re going to go through exactly what happens when an epileptic fit occurs, and how they can be triggered.

More Americans living with epilepsy than ever before!

The number of Americans with epilepsy is on the rise, with at least 3 million adults and 470,000 children living with the disorder, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain that causes seizures. In most cases the cause is unknown, but it can be brought on by a number of different conditions, including stroke, brain tumor, head injury, central nervous system infections, or genetic risks. According to the new CDC data, the number of U.S. adults with active epilepsy rose from 2.3 million in 2010 to 3 million in 2015. The number of children with epilepsy increased from 450,000 in 2007 to 470,000 in 2015. To get these estimates, the researchers analyzed national and state-specific reports. This is the first time epilepsy ...

Pairnomix, StemoniX Develop Epilepsy Model in Search for New Anti-seizure Drugs

Pairnomix has joined efforts with StemoniX to develop a lab-based model of epileptic seizures using so-called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The model, which researchers refer to as a “seizure-in-a-dish” model system, will allow scientists to study seizures at a network level. In this way, they can use the model to screen for anti-epileptic drugs in a fast and easy manner. Minneapolis-based Pairnomix has expertise in epilepsy models, while San Diego-based StemoniX has developed the microBrain Platform. The model mirrors tissue architecture in the brain, with nerve cells connecting to each other through synapses, forming functional networks. For brain diseases such as epilepsy, iPSCs are invaluable research tools. These cells can be derived from skin tissue, and are forced to backt...

This Is What It’s Really Like to Have Epilepsy

Epilepsy nearly took Emily Borghard’s life before she was diagnosed—she’s not only learned to live with the condition, but thrive as well. For Emily Borghard, 28, life growing up on a farm in upstate New York was filled with carefree activities in her close-knit community. Volunteer work with local soccer programs took up much of her time, and when her first seizure hit, she was a senior in high school applying for college admission miles away from home. Epilepsy causes seizures as a result of unusual electrical activity in the brain, usually due to brain injury though often it has no identifiable cause. “My first seizure occurred during a car accident. I was going home after a sleepover with my friends and I drove right off the road into a creek. I live in such a small town th...