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Researchers discover an epilepsy switch

Medical News Today - Tue, 10/27/2015 - 04:00
Scientists at the University of Bonn and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) have decoded a central signal cascade associated with epileptic seizures.
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Researchers discover an epilepsy switch

Science Daily - Mon, 10/26/2015 - 11:19
Scientists have decoded a central signal cascade associated with epileptic seizures. If the researchers blocked a central switch in epileptic mice, the frequency and severity of the seizures decreased. Using a novel technology, it was possible to observe the processes prior to the occurrence of epileptic seizures in living animals.
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Fainting, near-drowning may indicate increased risk of sudden death

Medical News Today - Mon, 10/26/2015 - 03:00
A new study calls for people who experience frequent blackouts or near-drowning events to visit their doctor; they may be at increased risk of a serious heart disorder called LQTS.
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Improving your genetic literacy in epilepsy—A new series

Epilepsia - Sat, 10/24/2015 - 03:28

Advances in epilepsy genetics have been rapid, and it is challenging for clinicians on the ground to keep pace with these advances. The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) Genetics Commission has thus crafted a new Genetic Literacy series targeted at busy clinicians. Our goal is to help provide a concise, accessible resource on epilepsy genetics for the busy, on-the-ground clinician so that he/she can apply that knowledge at point-of-care to help patients. This new series is grounded in educational theories and evidence to ensure that learning is effective and efficient. We hope that by promoting and encouraging continuing medical education in epilepsy genetics, this eventually translates to better patient management and therefore better patient health outcomes.

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Variants in and do not predict response to ketogenic dietary therapies for epilepsy

Epilepsy Research Journal - Sat, 10/24/2015 - 00:00
Ketogenic dietary therapies (KDT) can be an effective treatment for people with drug-resistant epilepsy (Henderson et al., 2006; Keene, 2006; Neal et al., 2008; Payne et al., 2011) and are the treatment of choice for epilepsy associated with the genetic conditions glucose transporter type 1 deficiency syndrome and pyruvate dehydrogenase complex deficiency (Kossoff et al., 2009).
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Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy: Identifying risk and preventing mortality

Epilepsia - Fri, 10/23/2015 - 05:41

Premature death among individuals with epilepsy is higher than in the general population, and sudden unexpected death is the most common cause of this mortality. A new multisite collaborative research consortium, the Center for sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) Research (CSR), has received major funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to examine the possible biologic mechanisms underlying this potentially preventable comorbidity and develop predictive biomarkers for interventions that could lower SUDEP incidence. This inaugural report describes the structure of the CSR, its priorities for human and experimental research, and the strategic collaborations and advanced tools under development to reduce this catastrophic outcome of epilepsy. The CSR Partners Program will work closely with committed volunteer agencies, industry, and academic institutions to accelerate and communicate these advances to the professional and lay community.

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Global assessment of the severity of epilepsy (GASE) Scale in children: Validity, reliability, responsiveness

Epilepsia - Thu, 10/22/2015 - 07:23
Summary Objective

The Global Assessment of Severity of Epilepsy (GASE) Scale is a single-item, 7-point global rating scale designed for neurologist-report of overall severity of epilepsy in children. Building on previous preliminary evidence of its validity and reliability for research and clinical use, this study evaluated the GASE Scale's construct validity, reliability, and responsiveness to changes in severity of epilepsy.


Data used for the study arose from the Health-Related Quality of Life in Children with Epilepsy Study (HERQULES), a 2-year multicenter prospective cohort study (n = 374) with observations taken at baseline, and 6, 12, and 24 months after diagnosis. Construct validity and reliability were quantified using Spearman's correlation and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Responsiveness was assessed using both distribution-based and anchor-based indices.


The GASE Scale was at least moderately correlated (r ≥ 0.30) with several key clinical aspects and most strongly correlated with frequency and intensity of seizures and interference of epilepsy or drugs with daily activities (r > 0.30). Total variation in GASE Scale scores explained by seven core clinical aspects of epilepsy increased over time (R2 = 28% at baseline to R2 = 70% at 24 months). The GASE Scale had modest test–retest reliability (ICC range: 0.52–0.64) and was responsive to changes in clinical criteria (standardized response mean range: 0.49–0.68; probability of change range: 0.69–0.75; Guyatt's responsiveness statistic range: 0.56–0.84). The GASE Scale showed potential to discriminate “stable” and “changed” patients according to select criteria and to a composite score (area under the receiver operating characteristic [ROC] curve range: 0.50–0.67).


Results offer additional evidence in support of the GASE Scale's validity, reliability, as well as responsiveness to changes in severity of epilepsy in children. We conclude that the GASE Scale is a potentially useful tool for assessing the severity of epilepsy in both clinical and research settings.

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Researchers develop drug delivery technique to bypass blood-brain barrier

Medical News Today - Wed, 10/21/2015 - 05:00
Breakthrough could help countless patients with neurological conditions that are currently hard to treatResearchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School and Boston University have...
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