Read the latest medical research on epilepsy and seizures including new treatments and potential cures under development.
Updated: 1 hour 20 min ago
Our brains hold on to memories via physical changes in synapses, the tiny connections between neurons. Unexpected molecular mechanisms by which these changes take place have now been revealed by new research.
Current methods to control epilepsy are not only inefficient, but haven’t improved in more than 150 years when the first anticonvulsant drug was developed. Researchers have opened up the possibilities for rapid drug screens to treat seizures in the near future by developing the smallest whole-animal electroconvulsive seizure model using a microscopic nematode worm.
Increasing the concentration of specific fats in the brain could suppress epileptic seizures, ground-breaking new research shows. On the basis of this discovery, scientists were able to completely suppress epileptic seizures in fruit flies.
An international team of researchers who discovered a new gene disorder that causes severe childhood epilepsy leveraged that finding to reduce seizures in two children. The collaborators’ case report reflects the potential of precision medicine -- applying basic science knowledge to individualize treatment to a patient’s unique genetic profile.
When surgery and medication don’t help people with epilepsy, electrical stimulation of the brain has been a treatment of last resort. Unfortunately, typical approaches, such as vagal nerve stimulation or responsive nerve stimulation, rarely stop seizures altogether. But a new shows that seizures were suppressed in patients treated with continuous electrical stimulation.
In a recent analysis, people with epilepsy were seven-fold more likely to have reported experiencing discrimination due to health problems than the general population. This risk was greater than other chronic health problems such as diabetes, asthma and migraines.
Researchers have identified a new explanation for why some seizures spread across the brain. Using a computer model based on direct brain recordings from epilepsy patients, they are the first to show the existence of a network of neural regions that can push or pull on the synchronization of the regions directly involved in a seizure.
Researchers have discovered how a new epilepsy drug works, which may lead the way to even more effective and safer medications. Currently, the most commonly used anti-epilepsy drugs are ineffective for about 30 percent of people with seizure disorders.
The drug everolimus has been shown to significantly reduce the frequency of seizures in patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy and tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) -- a genetic disease that causes malformations and tumors in the brain and other vital organs.
Two newer epilepsy drugs may not harm the thinking skills or IQs of school-aged children whose mothers took them while pregnant -- but an older drug is linked to cognitive problems in children, especially if their mothers took high doses -- according to new research.
At the onset of puberty, the emergence of a novel inhibitory brain receptor reduces seizure-like activity in a mouse model of epilepsy.
A child with absence epilepsy may be in the middle of doing something—she could be dancing, studying, talking—when all of a sudden she stares off into space for a few moments. Then, as quickly as she drifted off, the child snaps back into whatever she was doing, unaware that the episode occurred. That brief moment of disconnect from reality is called an absence seizure. Researchers now suggest that electrical signals directly exchanged between brain cells may hold promise as a potential target for absence epilepsy treatments.
A new study indicates that antiepileptic drugs designed to reduce seizures, may also induce psychotic disorders in some patients.
Researchers report how a mutation in a gene involved in the regulation of calcium inside brain cells can help trigger blackouts of the brainstem, the center that controls heartbeat and breathing, and increase the risk of sudden unexpected death.
Patients carrying certain mutations that cause Long QT Syndrome, a rare cardiac rhythm disorder, have an increased risk for developing seizures and have more severe cardiac symptoms.
A virtual brain has been created that can reconstitute the brain of a person affected by epilepsy for the first time. From this work we understand better how the disease works and can also better prepare for surgery, say scientists.
Neuroprotective compounds have been developed by scientists that may prevent the development of epilepsy. The researchers explained that the compounds prevented seizures and their damaging effects on dendritic spines, specialized structures that allow brain cells to communicate. In epilepsy, these structures are damaged and rewire incorrectly, creating brain circuits that are hyper-connected and prone to seizures, an important example of pathological plasticity.
A new approach has been developed to scanning the brain for changes in synapses that are associated with common brain disorders. The technique may provide insights into the diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of disorders, including epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease, say authors of a new report.
The suicide rate among people with epilepsy is 22 percent higher than the general population, according to a new study.
A pioneering new technique has been developed that could revolutionize the surgical treatment of epilepsy. The new technique is designed to help surgeons and neurologists measure the relative contribution to the occurrence of seizures made by different brain regions, and so determine the brain regions to remove that will have most benefit to the individual.