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Epilepsy Blog

Health Tip: Travel Safely in the Air

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

-- A little preparation can help you stay healthy and safe when traveling by plane. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends: Packing all necessary medications in a carry-on bag. Talk to your doctor about whether you should change your medication regimen while traveling. Pack some extras, in case your trip is extended. If you have a chronic illness such as epilepsy or diabetes, carry an identification card with your doctor's contact information and a list of your medications. Drink non-alcoholic, no-caffeine beverages to avoid dehydration. If you tend to have ear pain, take a decongestant before you fly, or chew gum. Stretch calves frequently, and walk around when it is safe to do so. Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Seizures, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Diabetes, Type 1, Dehydration, Seizure Prophylaxis, Diabetes Mellitus

Liquid Medical Marijuana Shows Promise Against Severe Epilepsy

Posted 13 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 13, 2015 – A liquid form of medical marijuana may help people with severe epilepsy that does not respond to other treatments, according to a new report. The study included 213 child and adult patients with 12 different types of severe epilepsy. Some of them had Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which are types of epilepsy that can cause intellectual disability and lifelong seizures. The patients took a liquid form of medical marijuana, called cannabidiol, daily for 12 weeks. Among the 137 people who completed the study, the number of seizures fell by an average of 54 percent, according to a team led by Dr. Orrin Devinsky, of New York University Langone Comprehensive Epilepsy Center in New York City. Among the 23 patients with Dravet syndrome who completed the study, the number of convulsive seizures fell by 53 percent, the investigators found. The 11 patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Seizure Prophylaxis

Too Few Kids With Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy Get Flu Shot: Study

Posted 10 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 10, 2015 – Children with neurological disorders such as epilepsy or cerebral palsy are at increased risk for complications from the flu, but are no more likely to receive a flu shot than other kids are, a new U.S. study shows. It's possible that many doctors don't know that some of these disorders put children at increased risk for flu-related complications, the researchers said. "Our research shows that influenza vaccination in children with [neurological disorders] is comparable to vaccination in healthy children – but both rates are suboptimal," study author Dr. Michael Smith, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the University of Louisville, said in a university news release. "More education about the need for annual influenza vaccination is needed, both for parents and health care providers," he added. The researchers conducted a nationwide survey of more ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Influenza, Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Influenza Prophylaxis

SPARC Announces FDA Approval of Elepsia XR (levetiracetam) Extended-Release Tablets

Posted 4 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

March 04, 2015, Mumbai: Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company Ltd. (SPARC) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its New Drug Application (NDA) for Elepsia XR (Levetiracetam extended-release tablets 1000 mg and 1500 mg). Elepsia XR is indicated for adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial onset seizures in patients 12 years of age and older with epilepsy. “Levetiracetam is a very successful and highly effective antiepileptic drug but more than 80% of epilepsy patients require Levetiracetam in does in range of 1000mg to 3000mg resulting in a significant pill burden. Approval of Elepsia XR as 1000mg and 1500mg once a day tablets will be very useful for these patients and physicians.” said Anil Raghavan, Chief Executive Officer of SPARC. The product will be manufactured by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd at its Halol (Gujarat) facility in Ind ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Levetiracetam

Epilepsy Surgery Gets High Marks From Patients in Survey

Posted 26 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 26, 2015 – More than nine in 10 epilepsy patients who had brain surgery to try to control their seizures are happy they did so, a new survey reveals. The review appears to be driven by the fact that patients saw the number of debilitating seizures they experienced after surgery either drop significantly or disappear altogether, the researchers noted. "One percent of the U.S. population has epilepsy, and among that group there are about 750,000 patients with recurring seizures that are not well-controlled," said study co-author Dr. Marianna Spanaki-Varelas, director of the Henry Ford Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. "Of those, 30 to 35 percent are [surgical] candidates because they do not respond to the roughly 15 appropriate epilepsy drugs that we have." A great majority of those who have surgery say it was worthwhile because many remain ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Seizure Prophylaxis

Sleep Position Linked to Death Risk for Those With Epilepsy

Posted 21 Jan 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21, 2015 – Sleeping on your stomach may boost your risk of sudden death if you have epilepsy, new research suggests. Sudden, unexpected death in epilepsy occurs when an otherwise healthy person dies and "the autopsy shows no clear structural or toxicological cause of death," said Dr. Daniel Friedman, assistant professor of neurology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. This is a rare occurrence, and the study doesn't establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship between sleeping position and sudden death. Still, based on the findings, people with epilepsy should not sleep in a prone (chest down) position, said study leader Dr. James Tao, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Chicago. "We found that prone sleeping is a significant risk for sudden, unexpected death in epilepsy, particularly in younger patients under age 40," said Tao. For ... Read more

Related support groups: Epilepsy

1 in 5 Adults With Epilepsy Also Has ADHD Symptoms: Study

Posted 15 Jan 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 15, 2015 – Nearly one in five adults with epilepsy also has symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a new study finds. Researchers surveyed almost 1,400 adult epilepsy patients across the United States. They found that more than 18 percent had significant ADHD symptoms. In comparison, about 4 percent of American adults in the general population have been diagnosed with ADHD, the researchers noted. Compared to other epilepsy patients, those with ADHD symptoms were also nine times more likely to have depression, eight times more likely to have anxiety symptoms, suffered more seizures and were far less likely to be employed. "Little was previously known about the prevalence of ADHD symptoms in adults with epilepsy, and the results were quite striking," study leader Dr. Alan Ettinger, director of the epilepsy center at Neurological Surgery, P.C. (NSPC) ... Read more

Related support groups: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Epilepsy

Kids With Epilepsy Face Higher Early Death Risk, Study Reports

Posted 7 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 6, 2014 – Children with epilepsy have an increased risk of dying prematurely, according to a new U.S. government report. The study found that for children up to 18 years old with epilepsy, the annual risk for death was 0.84 percent, compared with 0.22 percent for children of the same ages without epilepsy, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Deaths are related not so much to the epilepsy itself, but more from other causes," said study co-author Dr. Matthew Zack, a medical epidemiologist in CDC's division of population health. Zack said many of the deaths are related to conditions such as birth defects, cerebral palsy, developmental disability, heart abnormalities, and disorders of the brain and nervous system, including tumors. In addition, infections such as pneumonia take a toll on youngsters with epilepsy. Of the estimated 450,000 ... Read more

Related support groups: Epilepsy

High-Fat, Low-Carb Diet May Help With Tough-to-Treat Epilepsy

Posted 29 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 29, 2014 – Eating a low-carb, high-fat diet could help control epilepsy that is difficult to treat, according to new research. A review of five studies found that a ketogenic, or modified Atkins diet, that focuses on foods like bacon, eggs, heavy cream, butter, fish and green vegetables, could help reduce seizures in adults whose condition doesn't improve with medication. "We need new treatments for the 35 percent of people with epilepsy whose seizures are not stopped by medications," study co-author Dr. Pavel Klein explained in an American Academy of Neurology news release. "The ketogenic diet is often used in children, but little research has been done on how effective it is in adults." In conducting the review, the researchers analyzed five studies on the ketogenic diet involving 47 people. The ketogenic diet consists of a ratio of fat to protein/carbohydrate of ... Read more

Related support groups: Epilepsy

Small Study Hints Fish Oil Might Ease Tough-to-Treat Epilepsy

Posted 8 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 8, 2014 – Low doses of fish oil may help reduce the number of seizures experienced by people with a form of tough-to-treat epilepsy that no longer responds to drugs, a small new study suggests. The research was led by Dr. Christopher DeGiorgio, of the University of California, Los Angeles, and included 24 people with epilepsy that could no longer be controlled using medications. One expert not connected to the study said many people with epilepsy remain without adequate treatment. "Although medications remain the primary treatment for newly diagnosed epilepsy, more than 35 percent of patients continue to have seizures despite taking antiepileptic drugs," said Dr. David Friedman, director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y. Friedman said that in these cases, patients often resort to alternative treatments such as epilepsy ... Read more

Related support groups: Epilepsy, Fish Oil, Lovaza, Omega-3, Omacor, MaxEPA, Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, Marine Lipid Concentrate, Animi-3, Proepa, TherOmega, Sea-Omega 30, Vascazen, Super-EPA, Mi-Omega, Omega-500, EPA Fish Oil, Divista, Sea-Omega, Sea-Omega 70

Mom's Epilepsy Drugs Appear Safe in Breast Milk

Posted 17 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 16, 2014 – Taking epilepsy drugs while breast-feeding does not appear to harm the developing brains of young children, a new study finds. There have been concerns that using epilepsy drugs while breast-feeding could pose a threat to youngsters because it's been shown that some epilepsy drugs can cause cell death in young animals' brains. And in spite of the fact that epilepsy experts recommend breast-feeding, "it is still a sensitive topic among women with epilepsy," noted one expert, Dr. Patricia Dugan, assistant professor of neurology at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City. "Despite reassuring published data, such as this article, patients frequently tell us that they receive contradictory advice from their obstetricians and pediatricians, resulting in a significant amount of distress for the mother," said Dugan, who was not ... Read more

Related support groups: Epilepsy

Two Drugs Work Equally Well for Epileptic Seizures in Kids: Study

Posted 22 Apr 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 – Researchers comparing two drugs used to treat epileptic seizures in children – lorazepam (Ativan) and diazepam (Valium) – found no difference between them in safety or effectiveness. Although previous studies gave the edge to Ativan, Dr. James Chamberlain, lead researcher for the new study, gave several reasons why Valium might be as good or better. "Unexpectedly, Ativan is not superior to Valium for treating pediatric seizures. It's been dogma in medicine that Ativan is better than Valium, but this study shows that they are just about equal," said Chamberlain, division chief of emergency medicine and trauma services at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Since Valium does not have to be refrigerated, it might be a better choice for paramedics who treat seizure patients before they arrive at a hospital, he said. "They can start Valium ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Ativan, Valium, Lorazepam, Epilepsy, Diazepam, Diastat, Lorazepam Intensol, Valrelease, Diastat AcuDial, Diazepam Intensol, Zetran, Diastat Pediatric, Dizac

Human-Type Epilepsy Discovered in Sea Lions

Posted 19 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 – When exposed to a certain toxin in algae, sea lions develop a form of epilepsy similar to that in people, a new study says. Domoic acid – which can cause tremors, convulsions, memory loss and death – is produced by algae blooms and accumulates in small fish that sea lions eat. Every year, hundreds of sea lions affected by domoic acid are washed up along the California coast. Researchers examined the brains of 14 dead sea lions that had epilepsy caused by domoic acid and compared them to the brains of nine sea lions that died from other causes. The sea lions with epilepsy had about 50 percent fewer neurons in the hippocampus (the brain's memory center) than the other sea lions. "We found there was a loss of neurons in specific patterns that closely matched what is found in people. And there is synaptic reorganization – a rewiring of surviving neurons. This ... Read more

Related support groups: Epilepsy

Study Weighs Safety of Epilepsy Drugs in Pregnancy

Posted 8 Jan 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 8, 2014 – There's long been concern that certain drugs taken to control seizures might be unsafe for use by pregnant women, due to potential effects on the fetus. Now, new British research suggests that the drug levetiracetam does not pose a major risk to the neurological development of the fetus, although there's more evidence that another drug – valproate – may cause some problems. "These results are heartening, as the use of levetiracetam has increased in recent years, but there has been limited information on its effect on the thinking, movement and language abilities of children," study author Rebekah Shallcross of the University of Liverpool said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology. "This is the first study to look at the effects of levetiracetam, and further research is needed before we can be certain there are no associations," Shallcross ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Keppra, Levetiracetam, Keppra XR

Epilepsy Surgery Improves Patients' Lives, Research Finds

Posted 9 Dec 2013 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Dec. 8, 2013 – The vast majority of epilepsy patients who have brain surgery to treat the seizure disorder find it improves their mood and their ability to work and drive, a new study reveals. Meanwhile, a second study also indicates the procedure is safe and effective for patients over 60. "They're both reassuring findings," said Bruce Hermann, director of the Charles Matthews Neuropsychology Lab at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. "Epilepsy is a difficult disorder to have and live with, coming with a high rate of depression and affecting the ability to drive and work. "We always hoped surgery would have positive effects on patients' life situations, and this research does show that, and shows that the outcomes persist," added Hermann, who was not involved with the research. Both studies are scheduled to be presented Sunday at the American ... Read more

Related support groups: Epilepsy

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Seizures, Status Epilepticus, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, West Syndrome, Central Nervous System Disorders

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