What's Current?

Researchers discover moving, electrically 'silent' source initiates brain waves

Medical News Today - Thu, 04/21/2016 - 05:00
Finding may help in understanding memory formation, treating epilepsy. Brain waves that spread through the hippocampus are initiated by a method not seen before--a possible step toward...
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Extrastriate visual cortex in idiopathic occipital epilepsies: The contribution of retinotopic areas to spike generation

Epilepsia - Wed, 04/20/2016 - 00:36
Summary Objectives

To provide insight into the pathophysiology of idiopathic childhood occipital epilepsies (ICOEs), by mapping the contribution of retinotopic visual areas to the generation and sustainment of epileptic activity.

Methods

Thirteen patients affected by ICOEs (mean age = 10.9 years) underwent a video electroencephalography–functional magnetic resonance imaging (EEG-fMRI) study. A flexible-related fMRI analysis was applied to estimate the shape of the blood oxygen level–dependent (BOLD) response in each patient. Second-level analysis was performed using the interictal EEG discharge (IED)–specific response shape for the ICOE group. The resulting fMRI t-maps were warped to the Population-Average, Landmark- and Surface-based (PALS)-B12 atlas in Caret. For localization purposes, functional results were plotted and compared against 19 retinotopic areas for each hemisphere. A correlation analysis was performed between the hemodynamic maps and electroclinical variables.

Results

The shape of the group-averaged hemodynamic response in ICOE patients showed an earlier time-to-peak and a more pronounced undershoot than the canonical hemodynamic response function (HRF). The random-effect analysis showed positive hemodynamic changes in the bilateral temporooccipital network. With regard to the retinotopic subdivision of the visual cortex, the primary visual area was consistently spared. Conversely, an extensive involvement of the occipitotemporal cortex, including the fusiform gyrus, and the occipitoparietal areas was observed. Moreover, a linear relationship was detected between the occipital spike-density and BOLD increases at the postcentral gyrus and temporooccipital cortex.

Significance

Our data indicate that both the ventral and dorsal visual pathways are involved in spike generation in ICOEs, to extents that vary between patients, and reinforce the concept of benign childhood seizure susceptibility syndrome as a substrate for ICOEs. Finally, these results underscore the need for appropriate neuropsychological testing in these children, aimed at revealing selective impairments in functions subserved by both visual pathways.

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Women with epilepsy conceive at normal rate

Clinical Neurology News - Tue, 04/19/2016 - 13:21

VANCOUVER – Women with epilepsy have fertility rates comparable with healthy women in the general population, according to results from the first prospective observational cohort study to make the...

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Toward quieting the brain - promising anti-seizure strategies

Medical News Today - Tue, 04/19/2016 - 12:00
Cluster Analysis of Cat Neural Networks Reveals Promising Anti-seizure Strategies.Chronic brain diseases such as epilepsy involve disturbances of the brain's electrical activity.
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Adenosine A1 receptor–mediated suppression of carbamazepine-resistant seizure-like events in human neocortical slices

Epilepsia - Mon, 04/18/2016 - 06:06
Summary Objective

The need for alternative pharmacologic strategies in treatment of epilepsies is pressing for about 30% of patients with epilepsy who do not experience satisfactory seizure control with present treatments. In temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) even up to 80% of patients are pharmacoresistant, and surgical resection of the ictogenic tissue is only possible for a minority of TLE patients. In this study we investigate purinergic modulation of drug-resistant seizure-like events (SLEs) in human temporal cortex slices.

Methods

Layer V/VI field potentials from a total of 77 neocortical slices from 17 pharmacoresistant patients were recorded to monitor SLEs induced by application of 8 mM [K+] and 50 μm bicuculline.

Results

Activating A1 receptors with a specific agonist completely suppressed SLEs in 73% of human temporal cortex slices. In the remaining slices, incidence of SLEs was markedly reduced. Because a subportion of slices can be pharmacosensitive, we tested effects of an A1 agonist, in slices insensitive to a high dose of carbamazepine (50 μm). Also in these cases the A1 agonist was equally efficient. Moreover, ATP and adenosine blocked or modulated SLEs, an effect mediated not by P2 receptors but rather by adenosine A1 receptors.

Significance

Selective activation of A1 receptors mediates a strong anticonvulsant action in human neocortical slices from pharmacoresistant patients. We propose that our human slice model of seizure-like activity is a feasible option for future studies investigating new antiepileptic drug (AED) candidates.

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Expanding the spectrum of cognitive outcomes after temporal lobe epilepsy surgery: A prospective study of theory of mind

Epilepsia - Mon, 04/18/2016 - 05:55
Summary Objective

Because temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) can impair theory of mind (ToM), we examined the effects of anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) by comparing the preoperative to postoperative ToM course with that of other cognitive functions characteristically impaired in TLE.

Methods

Eighty-five patients with left (n = 39) or right (n = 46) drug-resistant TLE and an age at epilepsy onset of >12 (n = 54) or ≤12 years (n = 31) were evaluated before and 1 year after surgery; 40 healthy controls were assessed at baseline. The participants' recognition and comprehension of faux pas (FPs) or correct rejection of nonexistent FPs was assessed using the Faux Pas task; and their language, memory, and planning were, respectively, assessed using the Boston Naming, Short Story, and Tower of London tests.

Results

Baseline ToM was impaired in the patients with left or right TLE in comparison with the controls, and significantly influenced by education and age at seizure onset, with more severe deficits being observed in those with less education and an age at onset of ≤12 years. After ATL, their recognition and comprehension of FPs was unchanged, whereas the rejection of nonexistent FPs improved in the patients with early seizure onset. Education, preoperative ToM, postoperative executive function, and fluid intelligence and the number of antiepileptic drugs predicted postoperative ToM. Postoperative naming and episodic memory were associated with ATL laterality and education, and planning was associated with age at seizure onset and chronological age.

Significance

After ATL, the components of ToM may be unchanged or slightly improved depending on cognitive reserve and age at seizure onset, thus suggesting that ATL does not further aggravate the deficits caused by TLE. Moreover, the course of ToM is distinct from that of other cognitive functions. These findings expand the spectrum of the cognitive phenotypes associated with TLE and ATL, and offer potential elements for individual prognoses.

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Women with epilepsy just as likely to get pregnant as healthy women of childbearing age

Medical News Today - Mon, 04/18/2016 - 05:00
Women with epilepsy are just as likely to achieve a successful pregnancy as women without the neurological disorder, according to a new study led by research teams at multiple centers, including...
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Women with epilepsy just as likely to get pregnant as healthy women of childbearing age

Science Daily - Sat, 04/16/2016 - 09:47
In a prospective study, women with epilepsy had a comparable likelihood of achieving pregnancy, time taken to get pregnant, and pregnancy outcomes such as miscarriage, compared to a group of healthy peers. These findings contradict previously held beliefs in the medical community regarding the fertility of women with epilepsy.
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Long-term outcome and neuroradiologic changes after multiple hippocampal transection combined with multiple subpial transection or lesionectomy for temporal lobe epilepsy

Epilepsia - Fri, 04/15/2016 - 03:01
Summary Objective

Multiple hippocampal transection (MHT) is a surgical procedure developed to avoid postoperative memory decline. Its efficacy has been documented in only a few small series with relatively short observation periods. We prospectively evaluated the long-term seizure and cognitive outcomes of MHT combined with multiple subpial transection or lesionectomy (MHT + MST/L). Moreover, we quantitatively evaluated the structural and metabolic neuroradiologic changes after the procedure to elucidate the anatomofunctional correlates of memory preservation.

Methods

Twenty-four patients underwent MHT + MST/L for treatment of drug-resistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) and were followed for more than 5 years. Indications for the procedure were the following: (1) verbally dominant-sided surgery in patients with a radiologically normal hippocampus or normal/near normal memory, and (2) surgery for patients with concomitant epileptic activity on the contralateral side, that is, when the surgery was considered a high risk for severe postoperative memory decline. Seizure outcome was evaluated using Engel's classification 1, 2, and 3 years after surgery, and at the last visit (LV). Three subgroups were evaluated as well: magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) negative (MN), hippocampal sclerosis (HS), and normal hippocampus with extrahippocampal lesion (NHEL). The long-term cognitive outcome was followed through to LV in patients who underwent verbally dominant-sided surgery. Hippocampal volume (HV), diffusion tensor parameters (DTP), and glucose utilization (GU) were determined from MRI and fluorodeoxyglucose–positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) studies performed before and >6 months after surgery.

Results

Whereas the rate of Engel class I as a whole was 71% at 1 year and 67% at LV, the rates in the MN, HS, and NHEL groups were 60%, 67%, and 100% at 1 year, respectively, and 70%, 56%, and 80% at LV, respectively. Memory indices after verbally dominant-sided surgery transiently declined at 1 month but recovered to and remained at the preoperative level through LV. The HV, DTP of the fornix, and GU of the temporal lobe on the treated side showed pathologic changes even when the transiently declined memory indices had recovered to the preoperative level.

Significance

The long-term outcome for complex partial seizures after MHT + MST/L was comparable to that seen after anterior temporal lobectomy. The long-term cognitive outcome was favorable, even for patients with a high risk of severe postoperative memory decline. MHT + MST/L may be a treatment option for mTLE in which resective surgery carries a risk of postoperative memory decline, particularly in patients without MRI lesion. A discrepancy between the preserved memory and the pathologic neuroradiologic changes indicates the necessity for further studies including functional MRI.

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Once-a-day epilepsy drug may prevent seizures as well as twice-a-day drug

Science Daily - Thu, 04/14/2016 - 17:48
A new study suggests that an epilepsy drug that can be taken once a day may control seizures as well as a drug that must be taken twice a day, according to a preliminary study.
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Once-a-day epilepsy drug may prevent seizures as well as twice-a-day drug

Medical News Today - Thu, 04/14/2016 - 16:00
A new study suggests that an epilepsy drug that can be taken once a day may control seizures as well as a drug that must be taken twice a day, according to a preliminary study presented at the...
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Altered GABA receptor expression in brainstem nuclei and SUDEP in mice associated with epileptic encephalopathy

Epilepsy Research Journal - Wed, 04/13/2016 - 00:00
Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is the leading cause for death in individuals with epilepsy. The frequency of SUDEP correlates with the severity of epilepsies and lack of response to antiepileptic drug treatment, but the underlying mechanisms of SUDEP have not been elucidated fully. GABRG2(Q390X) is a mutation associated with the epileptic encephalopathy Dravet syndrome (DS) and with genetic epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+) in patients. The Gabrg2+/Q390X knockin (KI) mouse phenocopies the major features of DS and GEFS+ and has SUDEP throughout life.
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A common brain cell shapes the nervous system in unexpected ways

Medical News Today - Tue, 04/12/2016 - 06:00
More than half of our brains are made up of glial cells, which wrap around nerve fibers and insulate them--similarly to how the plastic casing of an electric cable insulates the copper wire...
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GW Pharmaceuticals initiates Phase 3 pivotal study in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex

Medical News Today - Mon, 04/11/2016 - 11:00
GW Pharmaceuticals plc, a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid product platform, has announced that...
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RARS2 mutations in a sibship with infantile spasms

Epilepsia - Sat, 04/09/2016 - 00:20
Summary

Pontocerebellar hypoplasia is a group of heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by reduced volume of the brainstem and cerebellum. We report two male siblings who presented with early infantile clonic seizures, and then developed infantile spasms associated with prominent isolated cerebellar hypoplasia/atrophy on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Using whole exome sequencing techniques, both were found to be compound heterozygotes for one previously reported and one novel mutation in the gene encoding mitochondrial arginyl-tRNA synthetase 2 (RARS2). Mutations in this gene have been classically described in pontocerebellar hypoplasia type six (PCH6), a phenotype characterized by early (often intractable) seizures, profound developmental delay, and progressive pontocerebellar atrophy. The electroclinical spectrum of PCH6 is broad and includes a number of seizure types: myoclonic, generalized tonic–clonic, and focal clonic seizures. Our report expands the characterization of the PCH6 disease spectrum and presents infantile spasms as an associated electroclinical phenotype.

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