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Epilepsy Blog

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, Lovaza, Fish Oil, Omega-3, Omacor, MaxEPA, Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, Animi-3, Marine Lipid Concentrate, Super-EPA, Mi-Omega, Omega-500, Divista, EPA Fish Oil, Sea-Omega, Sea-Omega 70, Omega 3-6-9 Complex, TheraTears Nutrition, Proepa, TherOmega

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

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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, Valium, Ativan, Lorazepam, Epilepsy, Diazepam, Diastat, Valrelease, Lorazepam Intensol, Zetran, Diastat Pediatric, Dizac, Diastat AcuDial, Diazepam Intensol

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

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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

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Scans Show Brain-Connection Differences in Those With Epilepsy

Posted 19 Nov 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 – People with a certain type of epilepsy have widespread, abnormal brain connections that could provide clues for diagnosis and treatment, new research suggests. The study included 24 people with left temporal lobe epilepsy, the most common form of focal (partial) epilepsy. Partial seizures do not involve the entire brain. People with temporal lobe epilepsy experience seizures that start in the temporal lobe. These are located on each side of the brain, just above the ears. Researchers used MRI to compare the brains of the epilepsy patients and a group of 24 people without epilepsy. Epilepsy patients had 22 percent to 45 percent fewer long-range connections in the brain's "default-mode network" compared to people without the condition. This set of brain regions is active when the mind is at rest and allowed to wander or daydream. The epilepsy patients also had 85 ... Read more

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FDA Approves Implanted Brain Stimulator for Epilepsy

Posted 14 Nov 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday gave its approval to a new implanted device that lowers the rate of seizures among people with epilepsy. "The neurostimulator detects abnormal electrical activity in the brain and responds by delivering electrical stimulation intended to normalize brain activity before the patient experiences seizure symptoms," Christy Foreman, director of the Office of Device Evaluation in the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in an agency news release. Kelly O'Brien, 28, has epilepsy and said the device – called the RNS Stimulator – has been life-changing. "It has given me an independence I did not have before," said O'Brien, who lives in Columbus, Ohio. "Since getting the device, my seizures have stopped and I am doing things I was not able to do in the past. The biggest thing is, I'm now able to drive ... Read more

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FDA Approves Aptiom to Treat Seizures in Adults

Posted 10 Nov 2013 by Drugs.com

November 8, 2013 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Aptiom (eslicarbazepine acetate) as an add-on medication to treat seizures associated with epilepsy. Epilepsy is a brain disorder caused by abnormal or excessive activity in the brain’s nerve cells. Approximately 200,000 new cases of seizures and epilepsy occur in the United States each year. Aptiom is approved for the treatment of partial seizures, the most common type of seizure seen in people with epilepsy. Seizures can cause a wide range of symptoms, including repetitive limb movements, unusual behavior and generalized convulsions with loss of consciousness. Seizures can have serious consequences, including injury and death. “Some patients with epilepsy do not achieve satisfactory seizure control from existing treatments,” said Eric Bastings, M.D., acting director of the Division of Neurology Products in t ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy

FDA Medwatch Alert: Potiga (Ezogabine): Drug Safety Communication - Linked To Retinal Abnormalities And Blue Skin Discoloration

Posted 4 Nov 2013 by Drugs.com

UPDATED 11/01/2013:  FDA approved changes to the drug label, underscoring risks of abnormalities to the retina in the eye, potential vision loss, and skin discoloration, all of which may become permanent. The revised label includes a new boxed warning, because of the risk of abnormalities to the retina. FDA advises that Potiga use be limited to patients who have not responded adequately to several alternative therapies to decrease the frequency of seizures, or epilepsy, and for whom the benefits of treatment outweigh the risks. AUDIENCE: Health Professional, Neurology, Patient ISSUE: FDA is warning the public that the anti-seizure medication Potiga (Ezogabine) can cause blue skin discoloration and eye abnormalities characterized by pigment changes in the retina. FDA does not currently know if these changes are reversible. FDA is working with the manufacturer to gather and evaluate all ... Read more

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Epilepsy Drugs in Pregnancy May Affect Infants' Fine Motor Skills

Posted 25 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 25 – Young children exposed to epilepsy drugs in the womb are at increased risk of having impaired fine motor skills, according to a new study. Exposure to the drugs in breast milk, however, does not appear to pose a threat. Researchers looked at data collected from Norwegian mothers about their children's language, behavior, and motor and social skills at the ages of 6 months, 18 months and 36 months. The women also provided information on breast-feeding during the first year for the study, which was published online Sept. 23 in the journal JAMA Neurology. Of the children in the study, 223 were exposed to one or more epilepsy drugs in the womb. At age 6 months, 11.5 percent of infants whose mothers took epilepsy drugs during pregnancy had impaired fine motor skills (which involve small muscle movements) compared with less than 5 percent of those who were not exposed ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Klonopin, Lyrica, Clonazepam, Valium, Ativan, Lamictal, Topamax, Depakote, Lorazepam, Epilepsy, Diazepam, Keppra, Tegretol, Lamotrigine, Dilantin, Trileptal, Topiramate, Carbamazepine, Pregabalin

Vigorous Exercise May Lessen Young Men's Risk of Epilepsy

Posted 4 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 4 – Young men who routinely exercise vigorously may be at much lower risk for epilepsy later in life, according to Swedish researchers. Their study found that regular physical activity could provide some protection against the brain disease, which causes repeated seizures over time. "There are a host of ways exercise has been shown to benefit the brain and reduce the risk of brain diseases," the study's author, Dr. Elinor Ben-Menachem, from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, said in an American Academy of Neurology news release. "This is the first study in humans to show that exercise may also reduce the risk of epilepsy, which can be disabling and life-threatening." "Exercise may affect epilepsy risk in two ways," she said. "It may protect the brain and create stronger brain reserve, or it may simply be that people who are fit early in life tend to also be fit ... Read more

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Supernus Announces Final FDA Approval and Upcoming Launch of Trokendi XR

Posted 19 Aug 2013 by Drugs.com

ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 19, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company, received final approval from the Food & Drug Administration (the "FDA") for Trokendi XR, a novel once-daily extended release formulation of topiramate for the treatment of epilepsy. The company expects to launch the product and for it to be available in pharmacies over the next few weeks. The approval letter states that the FDA has completed its review of the application and that Trokendi XR is approved effective August 16, 2013 for use as recommended in the agreed-upon labeling. The FDA granted a waiver for certain pediatric study requirements and a deferral for submission of post-marketing pediatric pharmacokinetic assessments that are due in 2019 followed by clinical assessments in 2025. "We are very excited about the approval of Trokendi XR and its upcoming launch. ... Read more

Related support groups: Epilepsy, Topiramate

Epilepsy Drug Warnings May Slip Through Cracks

Posted 19 Aug 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 19 – One-fifth of U.S. neurologists are unaware of serious safety risks associated with epilepsy drugs and are potentially risking the health of patients who could be treated with safer medications, a new study reveals. The 505 neurologists who took part in the survey between March and July 2012 were asked if they knew about several epilepsy drugs' safety risks recently identified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These risks included increased danger of suicidal thoughts or behaviors linked with some newer drugs, a high risk for birth defects and mental impairment in children of mothers taking divalproex (brand name Depakote), and the likelihood of serious hypersensitivity reactions in some Asian patients treated with carbamazepine (Tegretol). One in five of the neurologists said they did not know about any of these risks. Neurologists who treat 200 or more ... Read more

Related support groups: Depakote, Epilepsy, Tegretol

Epilepsy Plus Mental Ills Linked to Premature Death, Study Says

Posted 22 Jul 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 22 – People with epilepsy are 11 times more likely to die prematurely than people in the general population. And the increased risk of early death is significantly higher among those with mental illnesses, especially depression and alcohol and drug-use disorders, a new study suggests. "Our results have significant public health implications as around 70 million people worldwide have epilepsy, and emphasize that carefully assessing and treating psychiatric disorders as part as part of standard checks in persons with epilepsy could help reduce the risk of premature death in these patients," said study leader Seena Fazel, from the University of Oxford, in England. The study included nearly 70,000 epilepsy patients born in Sweden between 1954 and 2009 and followed for up to 41 years. They were compared to more than 660,000 people in the general population and more than 81,000 ... Read more

Related support groups: Epilepsy, Psychiatric Disorders

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