Read the latest medical research on epilepsy and seizures including new treatments and potential cures under development.
Updated: 14 min 2 sec ago
For most women who have epilepsy, continuing their medication during pregnancy is important for their health. Over the last 25 years, research has shown that children exposed to these medications in the womb can be at a higher risk of having a malformation or birth defect.
A genetic change in the protein eEF2K creates resistance to epileptic attacks, thereby creating the possibility of a new treatment for the disease, show the surprising results of a new study.
Mental disorders and physical diseases frequently go hand in hand. For the first time, psychologists have identified temporal patterns in young people: arthritis and diseases of the digestive system are more common after depression, while anxiety disorders tend to be followed by skin diseases.
The potential reasons why many patients with severe epilepsy still continue to experience seizures even after surgery have been outlined in a new report. Epilepsy continues to be a serious health problem and is the most common serious neurological disorder. Medically intractable temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) remains the most frequent neurosurgically treated epilepsy disorder.
A new study shows a link between mothers with rheumatoid arthritis and children with epilepsy. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s own immune system to attack the joints. It differs from osteoarthritis, which is caused by wear and tear on the joints.
The compound huperzine A can increase resistance to induced seizures in mouse models of genetic epilepsy, scientists have found. In particular, huperzine A shows potential for protecting against febrile seizures, which are a feature of both Dravet syndrome, a severe form of childhood epilepsy, and a related condition, GEFS+ (genetic epilepsy with febrile seizures plus).
Surgery is an option for patients who do not respond to medications and have epileptic scar tissue that can be removed safely. In 60 to 70 percent of surgery patients, seizures are completely eliminated, and the success rate likely will improve as imaging and surgical techniques improve.
In a population-based Canadian study of children with epilepsy, each of whom had access to universal health care, those from poor families had the same medical course and remission rate as their wealthier counterparts, but they had a less favorable social outcome as adults.
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.