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Epilepsy News

Genetic Insights May Help Kids Battling Developmental Delays

Posted 2 days 8 hours ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 25, 2016 – There's new hope for children stricken by mysterious developmental delays, with a new study showing that extensive genetic analysis may help determine the cause of their disability. Canadian researchers found a precise genetic cause for seven out of every 10 children suffering from a previously undiagnosed condition that caused developmental delays. In many cases, the genetic analysis led to groundbreaking discoveries. Researchers discovered 11 new disease genes linked to developmental delays, and described new physical traits and symptoms for a number of known diseases. And based on the new genetic diagnosis, doctors were able to offer targeted treatments in four of 10 cases, said senior researcher Dr. Clara van Karnebeek. She is a pediatrician and biochemical geneticist at BC Children's Hospital and principal investigator with the Center for Molecular ... Read more

Related support groups: Epilepsy, Autism, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation and Deficiency, Diagnosis and Investigation, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome

Pain, Epilepsy Drug Lyrica May Increase Birth Defects Risk, Study Suggests

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 18, 2016 – The widely prescribed drug pregabalin (Lyrica) may slightly increase the risk for birth defects, a new study suggests. In a small study, researchers found that among women taking Lyrica during the first trimester of pregnancy, 6 percent had infants with major birth defects. In women who weren't taking the drug, 2 percent had a baby with a major birth defect, the study found. "These results should be taken with caution," said study senior author Dr. Thierry Buclin, from the Swiss Teratogen Information Service and the division of clinical pharmacology at the Lausanne University Hospital, in Switzerland. "It's a warning, but it cannot be taken as a certainty." Lyrica is prescribed for a range of health problems, including epilepsy, fibromyalgia and anxiety. The new study findings should be investigated further, Buclin said. "We should not unduly alarm ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Contraception, Anxiety and Stress, Fibromyalgia, Seizures, Lyrica, Social Anxiety Disorder, Epilepsy, Pregabalin, Delivery, Performance Anxiety, Hydrocephalus, Premature Labor, Apnea of Prematurity, Labor Pain, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Cesarean Section, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Eisai Announces FDA Approval of Fycompa (perampanel) Oral Suspension

Posted 2 May 2016 by Drugs.com

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., May 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ – Eisai Inc. today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Fycompa (perampanel) CIII Oral Suspension as adjunctive therapy for the treatment of partial-onset seizures (POS) with or without secondarily generalized seizures, and primary generalized tonic-clonic (PGTC) seizures in patients with epilepsy 12 years of age and older. The oral suspension formulation is a bioequivalent, interchangeable alternative to the Fycompa tablet formulation, and is expected to be available to patients in June 2016. "We are excited about the approval of Fycompa Oral Suspension, as it gives another option to patients with epilepsy who may have difficulty swallowing tablets or prefer liquids," said Lynn Kramer, M.D., Chief Clinical Officer and Chief Medical Officer, Neurology Business Group, Eisai. "The development of this new ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Fycompa, Perampanel

One-a-Day Anti-Seizure Drug Shows Promise for People With Epilepsy

Posted 15 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 14, 2016 – A once-daily epilepsy drug may control seizures just as well as a twice-daily drug, researchers report. Their preliminary study compared the once-a-day drug eslicarbazepine acetate (Aptiom) to the twice-daily drug carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol) for more than 800 people newly diagnosed with partial seizures, which originate in one area of the brain. After six months, 71 percent of those taking eslicarbazepine and 76 percent of those taking carbamazepine were seizure-free. After one year, 65 percent of those taking eslicarbazepine and 70 percent of those taking carbamazepine were seizure-free, said the team led by Dr. Elinor Ben-Menachem, of Gothenburg University in Sweden. The study was funded by Portuguese drug maker BIAL-Portela & Ca., and will be presented April 19 at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting, in Vancouver. "Seizure control is ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Tegretol, Carbamazepine, Seizure Prevention, Tegretol XR, Epitol, Seizure Prophylaxis, Carbatrol, Equetro, Aptiom, Eslicarbazepine

Study Sees No Link Between Common Epilepsy Drug, Certain Birth Defects

Posted 6 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 6, 2016 – Despite initial concern from early studies, taking the epilepsy drug lamotrigine (Lamictal) during pregnancy may not raise the risk for certain birth defects, a large new study finds. "An initial study of this drug showed an increased risk for cleft lip or cleft palate, but a number of other studies since have not, and our previous study showed an increased risk of clubfoot," said study author Helen Dolk, of Ulster University, in Northern Ireland. However, the new study, which had "a much larger population size – more than double the size of our previous study" – has found no significant links, Dolk said in a news release from the journal Neurology. The research, funded by the drug's maker, Glaxo Smith Kline, was published April 6 in the journal. In addition to being prescribed to control epileptic seizures, lamotrigine is used to prevent mood swings in ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Seizures, Lamictal, Epilepsy, Lamotrigine, Seizure Prevention, Delivery, Lamictal XR, Seizure Prophylaxis, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Premature Labor, Lamictal Blue, Lamictal Orange, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Labor Pain, Lamictal ODT, Cesarean Section, Lamictal CD, Lamictal Green

Type 1 Diabetes Linked to Epilepsy Risk, Study Suggests

Posted 1 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 31, 2016 – People who have type 1 diabetes may be nearly three times more likely to develop the seizure disorder epilepsy than people without type 1 diabetes, a new study suggests. The youngest people with type 1 diabetes – under 6 years old – seemed to be six times more likely to develop epilepsy, the researchers reported. But, those with the highest risk of epilepsy appeared to be children with type 1 diabetes who had to be treated in a hospital for a severe low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). The study found the risk of epilepsy was 16.5 times higher for these children. It should be noted, however, that the study did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship between the two conditions. And the "absolute" risk of any one person with type 1 diabetes going on to develop epilepsy remains very small. Epilepsy is a brain disorder affecting less than 1 percent of the U.S. ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Insulin, Epilepsy, Diabetes, Type 1, Seizure Prevention, Seizure Prophylaxis

Even Controlled, Epilepsy May Still Cause Problems for Kids

Posted 31 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 31, 2016 – Even when their seizures are well-controlled, children with epilepsy can still have learning and behavioral disorders that lead to social and educational problems when they're young adults, a new study finds. "Frequency and intensity of seizures remain important predictors of how well a child does into adulthood. But, somewhat to our surprise we also found seizures are by no means the sole influencers of social and educational outcomes among adults with childhood epilepsy," said study lead author Anne Berg. Berg is a scientist with the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, and professor of pediatrics and neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. The research included 241 children and teens in Connecticut who were diagnosed with uncomplicated epilepsy from 1993 to 1997. They were followed for an average of 12 years. ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Seizure Prophylaxis, West Syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Status Epilepticus

MS Patients May Be Prone to Other Chronic Illnesses, Study Finds

Posted 9 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 9, 2016 – People with multiple sclerosis (MS) are more likely to have other chronic health problems than those without the nervous system disorder, a new study indicates. Researchers looked at how common several chronic conditions – high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, chronic lung disease, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia – were in nearly 23,400 people newly diagnosed with MS and more than 116,600 people without MS. The MS patients had higher rates of all the conditions, with high cholesterol being the exception. Their rates of mental illness, particularly depression, were also high. Nineteen percent of MS patients and 9 percent of those without MS had depression, the study found. For many of the chronic conditions, there were significant gender differences. High ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Seizures, Hypertension, Asthma, Heart Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Heart Attack, High Cholesterol, Schizophrenia, Mania, Schizoaffective Disorder, Angina, Diabetic Neuropathy, Seizure Prevention, Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, Insulin Resistance, Diabetic Nerve Damage

Briviact Approved for Epileptic Seizures

Posted 24 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2016 – Briviact (brivaracetam) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat partial onset seizures in people aged 16 and older with epilepsy. Partial onset seizures describe those that originate in a limited area of the brain, the FDA said Friday in a news release. Epilepsy, a common disorder believed to affect more than 5 million people in the United States, is characterized by recurring seizures, with typical symptoms including uncontrolled movement, muscle spasms and abnormal behavior. Common causes of epilepsy include stroke, infection, tumors, brain injury and abnormal brain development, the FDA said. In many cases, no cause can be identified, the agency added. Briviact, taken with other medications, was evaluated in clinical studies involving more than 1,500 people. Common side effects included drowsiness, dizziness and nausea. As with ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Briviact, Brivaracetam

FDA Approves Briviact (brivaracetam) to Treat Partial Onset Seizures

Posted 24 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

February 19, 2016 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday approved Briviact (brivaracetam) as an add-on treatment to other medications to treat partial onset seizures in patients age 16 years and older with epilepsy. Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes people to have recurring seizures. A seizure is an episode, usually of relatively short duration, of abnormal brain activity. Seizures can cause a variety of symptoms, including uncontrolled movements or spasms, abnormal thinking and behavior, and abnormal sensations. Muscle spasms can be violent, and loss of consciousness can occur. Seizures occur when clusters of nerve cells (neurons) in the brain undergo uncontrolled activation. A partial onset seizure begins in a limited area of the brain. “Patients can have different responses to the various seizure medicines that are available,” said Billy Dunn, M.D., director of t ... Read more

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

Wearable Devices Aim to Monitor Epileptic Seizures

Posted 8 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 8, 2015 – Wearable devices aimed at tracking seizures in epilepsy patients are being developed, researchers report. Three such devices – a patch, an arm band system and wrist-worn monitors – were reviewed in three separate studies and presented this week at an American Epilepsy Society meeting in Philadelphia. They do not yet have U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval as medical devices for recording seizures. However, their success could be very helpful to neurologists treating patients with epilepsy, said Dr. Clifford Segil, a neurologist at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif. Segil was not involved in the research. "Wearable technology being used by neurologists is not as up-to-date as technology being used by cardiologists in 2015," Segil said. "Seizures are a very diverse group of disorders, which are not easily managed, and work ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Seizure Prophylaxis, West Syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Diagnosis and Investigation, Status Epilepticus, Seizure Prophylaxis During or Following Neurosurgery

Marijuana Chemical Shows Promise for Hard-to-Treat Epilepsy in Kids

Posted 7 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 7, 2015 – Evidence is mounting that a marijuana-derived oil might benefit some children with epilepsy whose seizures aren't controlled by approved medications, two new studies show. Cannabidiol (CBD) significantly reduced seizures in as many as half of children with epilepsy, researchers planned to report Monday at the American Epilepsy Society's annual meeting, in Philadelphia. But experts say these positive findings may have been influenced by a "placebo effect." All participants in these studies knew they were taking the oil, which could have affected reports of its effectiveness. "We know that our placebo rates can be as high as 30 percent, and sometimes higher," said Dr. Amy Brooks-Kayal, American Epilepsy Society president, who wasn't involved in the studies. "We don't know the real effect of the cannabidiol, and we won't until we complete the studies that are ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Cannabis, Seizure Prophylaxis, West Syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Status Epilepticus

Childhood Whooping Cough Tied to Small Rise in Epilepsy Risk

Posted 3 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 3, 2015 – Whooping cough may be tied to a slightly increased risk for a young child to develop epilepsy, a new study finds. Whooping cough (pertussis) is relatively rare in the United States, however. And the absolute risk to any one child of getting epilepsy remains "low," said Dr. Meghan Fleming, a neurologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She reviewed the findings from the new study. According to background information in the study, vaccination can prevent whooping cough, but roughly 16 million cases of the disease still occur worldwide each year. There were nearly 50,000 whooping cough cases reported in the United States in 2012, the study authors noted. In the new study, a team led by Dr. Morten Olsen of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark looked at 4,700 Danish children with whooping cough. The children in the study were born between 1978 and 2011 and ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Seizure Prophylaxis, Pertussis, Kinrix, Diphtheria Toxoid/Pertussis, Acellular/Poliovirus Vaccine, Inactivated/Tetanus Toxoid, Daptacel (DTaP), Tripedia (DTaP), Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Pediarix, Boostrix (Tdap), Pertussis, Acellular, Trihibit, Diphtheria Toxoid/hepatitis B Pediatric Vaccine/pertussis, Acellular/poliovirus Vaccine, Inactivated/tetanus Toxoid, DTP Vaccine, Diphtheria Toxoid/Haemophilus B Conjugate (Hboc) Vaccine/Pertussis, Whole Cell/Tetanus Toxoid, Quadracel, Diphtheria Toxoid/Pertussis, Acellular/Tetanus Toxoid, Pentacel

Gene May Boost Death Risk for People With Mild Epilepsy

Posted 23 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 23, 2015 – Researchers say they've identified a gene mutation that might increase the risk of sudden death in people with mild epilepsy. The researchers studied a four-generation family with nine members who had epilepsy caused by a mutation of the DEPDC5 gene. This form of epilepsy is considered mild. But, two of the family members suffered what is known as sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), which is statistically significant for the small number of people in the study, according to the researchers in the Adult Genetic Epilepsy Program of the Krembil Neuroscience Center in Toronto. But the study did not prove that the gene mutation caused the increased risk for SUDEP. SUDEP is when a person with epilepsy who is otherwise healthy dies unexpectedly and without an apparent cause. About one in 1,000 people with epilepsy die of SUDEP each year, the researchers said. ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Diagnosis and Investigation

Could Marijuana Chemical Help Ease Epilepsy?

Posted 9 Sep 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 9, 2015 – A chemical found in marijuana might help prevent epilepsy seizures, but drug laws have hampered research efforts, a new study says. Cannabidiol is one of the main active chemical compounds found in pot. But it doesn't make people high, the study authors said. Cannabidiol has already been shown to prevent seizures in animal studies and in one ongoing human trial, said lead author Dr. Daniel Friedman, a neurologist and epilepsy specialist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. But legally, marijuana is considered a Schedule I controlled substance. That means the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency classifies it as a drug with "no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse." That classification makes it difficult to pursue large-scale trials that could prove cannabidiol's safety and effectiveness in epilepsy, Friedman said. "Right now, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Cannabis, Seizure Prophylaxis, Status Epilepticus

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