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Epilepsy News

Compound in Pot Eases Severe Form of Epilepsy

Posted 24 May 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 24, 2017 – A landmark clinical trial has shown that a compound in marijuana can ease life-threatening seizures in children with a rare and devastating form of epilepsy. Cannabidiol – a non-intoxicating chemical – reduced seizure frequency by 39 percent in patients with Dravet Syndrome, researchers report. This is the first randomized, controlled trial to show that cannabidiol (CBD) can help control seizures in some people with epilepsy, said study author Dr. Orrin Devinsky. He is director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. "It's a big landmark in the scientific study of cannabis, and it's a major landmark in epilepsy care," Devinsky said. "After four millennia of using cannabis to treat epilepsy, we now have for the first time scientifically rigorously obtained data that this specific compound works in this specific ... Read more

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

Seizure Control Eases Life for Young Adults With Epilepsy

Posted 28 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 28, 2017 – Young adults with uncomplicated epilepsy who remain seizure-free do as well as siblings without the disorder in education, employment, driving and independent living, a new study says. The 15-year study included 361 people in Connecticut with childhood-onset epilepsy and 173 of their brothers and sisters. Those with uncomplicated epilepsy who were seizure-free for five years did as well as their siblings. But those with complicated epilepsy had worse social outcomes and were less likely to drive, even if they were seizure-free, the study found. Uncomplicated epilepsy was defined as having no other other neurologic impairments, no intellectual disability and no history of conditions such as meningitis or stroke that might have caused epilepsy. The study was published online recently in the journal Epilepsia. "Our study provides further evidence that children ... Read more

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

Seizure Control Key to Avoiding Sudden Death With Epilepsy

Posted 25 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 25, 2017 – In rare cases, seizures that cause convulsions and a loss of consciousness can raise the odds of sudden death in people with epilepsy, neurologists warn. These attacks are known as generalized tonic-clonic seizures, according to a new guideline from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the American Epilepsy Society. Just how rare is sudden death linked to these seizures? According to guideline researchers, these tragedies occur in 1 in 1,000 men and women each year and only 1 in 4,500 children annually. Still, although rare, it's crucial that the possibility of sudden death linked to seizures and risk factors for these events "are communicated to persons and families affected by epilepsy," said guideline author Dr. Cynthia Harden. She's with Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. "Our guideline brings clarity to the discussion, giving health care ... Read more

Related support groups: Klonopin, Seizures, Clonazepam, Ativan, Valium, Topamax, Lorazepam, Epilepsy, Diazepam, Topiramate, Dilantin, Seizure Prevention, Phenobarbital, Phenytoin, Diamox, Zonisamide, Primidone, Zonegran, Seizure Prophylaxis, Acetazolamide

Pot Ingredient Might Ease Severe Epilepsy

Posted 19 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 18, 2017 – An ingredient in marijuana may reduce seizures in people with a severe form of epilepsy, a new study suggests. The ingredient in question is cannabidiol – a molecule from the marijuana plant that does not create a "high." The drug is being developed by GW Pharmaceuticals, which funded the new study. Researchers used cannabidiol to treat a type of epilepsy known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. "The seizures in Lennox-Gastaut syndrome can be very difficult to treat, and the ones that cause falling can be dangerous and occur multiple times in a day," explained an expert in epilepsy treatment, Dr. Derek Chong. He directs the division of epilepsy at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. The new study was led by Dr. Anup Patel, of Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus. His team tested cannabidiol in 225 young ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Smoking, Epilepsy, Smoking Cessation, Seizure Prevention, Cannabis, Seizure Prophylaxis, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome

Epilepsy: Another Potential Zika Threat to Babies

Posted 17 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 17, 2017 – Beyond its known links to birth defects and other problems, the Zika virus may also trigger cases of epilepsy in infants, warn experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among 48 babies from Brazil with probable congenital Zika infection, "50 percent reportedly had clinical seizures," said Dr. Daniel Pastula, Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp and Rosemarie Kobau. All three have studied Zika at the CDC, and co-wrote an essay on the Zika-epilepsy connection, published online April 17 in JAMA Neurology. The Zika virus is transmitted via mosquito bites, and its most devastating effects occur when pregnant women are infected. In those cases, Zika can trigger severe neurological birth defects such as microcephaly, where infants are born with underdeveloped skulls and brains. Thousands of such cases have occurred in South America, most notably in ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Seizure Prophylaxis, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Hydrocephalus, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Obesity in Early Pregnancy May Raise Child's Risk of Epilepsy

Posted 3 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 3, 2017 – Kids are more likely to develop childhood epilepsy – a seizure disorder – if their mothers were overweight or obese early in pregnancy, a new study suggests. The risk of epilepsy in children goes up as a mother's weight goes up – reaching as high as 82 percent among kids of severely obese women, the researchers said. "This means more severe grades of obesity correspond to increasingly higher risk," said study co-author Dr. Eduardo Villamor. He's a professor of epidemiology with the University of Michigan School of Public Health. However, Dr. Steven Wolf, director of the pediatric epilepsy program at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, pointed out that the overall risk of childhood epilepsy still remains relatively low, even if a woman is overweight or obese. It's also important to note that this study wasn't designed to conclusively show a direct ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Seizures, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Seizure Prophylaxis, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Can Brain Scans Help Doctors Navigate Epilepsy Surgery?

Posted 11 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11, 2017 – MRI scans might help doctors protect critical areas of the brain before surgery to treat epilepsy, new guidelines suggest. Scientists found the scans may be a safer and less invasive alternative to another more commonly used procedure, according to the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). When medication doesn't effectively control epilepsy, surgery may be recommended. Doctors can remove the part of the brain that triggers seizures or use certain procedures to control seizure activity. Before surgery, however, the brain must be "mapped" to ensure the regions responsible for language and memory aren't damaged during the procedure, the study authors explained. This can be done in one of the following ways, the AAN says: Functional MRI (fMRI): This brain imaging procedure measures blood flow, to detect brain activity. The Wada test: This invasive procedure, ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Seizure Prophylaxis, Neurosurgery, Head Imaging

'Epilepsy Gene Network' Identified in Brain

Posted 14 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14, 2016 – Scientists say they have identified a gene network in the brain that's associated with epilepsy. Although the research is in the early stages, the investigators hope their discovery can revive interest in finding new epilepsy treatments. "Identifying groups of genes that work together, and then targeting these networks of genes, may lead to more effective treatments," said study senior author Michael Johnson. He's a professor of medicine at Imperial College London in England. "Our proof-of-concept study suggests this network biology approach could help us identify new medications for epilepsy, and the methods can also be applied to other diseases," Johnson said in a college news release. The newly discovered "epilepsy network" includes 320 genes believed to be involved in how brain cells communicate with one another. When the network malfunctions, it triggers ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Seizure Prophylaxis, Status Epilepticus, West Syndrome, Diagnosis and Investigation, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Head Imaging

Rare Infant Seizure Disorder Often Missed

Posted 6 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 6, 2016 – Many infants with a rare form of epilepsy known as infantile spasms aren't promptly diagnosed, and that delay can lead to devastating health consequences, new research indicates. The peculiar clusters of seizures usually strike between 4 and 12 months of age, said study researcher Dr. Shaun Hussain. He is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles. "It is completely different from other types of seizures," Hussain said. They last about a second. Typically, the child drops his head and jerks his arms up. Parents may not notice or might think it's nothing to worry about, the researcher said. But untreated, "infantile spasms lead to terrible outcomes," said Hussain, who's also director of the UCLA Infantile Spasms Project. These outcomes can include autism, lifelong epilepsy or mental retardation, he said. Even a delay of a ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Seizure Prophylaxis, Diagnosis and Investigation

Marijuana Derivative May Curb Tough-to-Treat Epilepsy

Posted 6 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 6, 2016 – A purified oral version of a marijuana compound may help with treatment-resistant forms of epilepsy, two new clinical trials show. The researchers found that the compound, cannabidiol (CBD), helped reduce seizure frequency in children and adults with two hard-to-treat forms of epilepsy: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. The drug is still experimental, and doctors stressed that it did not help everyone and is not a "cure." On the other hand, they called the results "very encouraging," given how difficult it is to manage the seizure disorders. "It's always a good day when we have a potential new option to offer these patients," said Dr. Amy Brooks-Kayal, a pediatric neurologist at Children's Hospital Colorado who was not involved in the research. She had another caveat, however: The CBD used in the trials is a "purified, pharmaceutical-grade" pill. ... Read more

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

When Sibling Has Epilepsy, Kids Worry

Posted 5 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 5, 2016 – Brothers and sisters of children with epilepsy tend to worry and feel protective toward them, a new study finds. "When a child has a chronic disease, it impacts the family and we wanted to learn how it affects siblings of children with epilepsy," said lead researcher Barbara Kroner. She's a senior epidemiologist at RTI International, a nonprofit research institute headquartered in North Carolina. "We found very few disapproving feelings among siblings toward their brothers and sisters with epilepsy. The negative feelings they had were more internal, showing they were sad for or worried about them," she explained in a news release from the American Epilepsy Society. For the study, researchers surveyed 61 parents of a child with epilepsy. They asked about the disorder's effect on the sibling closest in age, who had to be at least 4 years old. The study found that ... Read more

Related support groups: Klonopin, Seizures, Clonazepam, Ativan, Valium, Lorazepam, Epilepsy, Diazepam, Seizure Prevention, Seizure Prophylaxis, Klonopin Wafer, Onfi, Clobazam, West Syndrome, Diastat, Valrelease, Diastat AcuDial, Lorazepam Intensol, Diazepam Intensol, Zetran

Study Sheds Light on Safety of Driving With Epilepsy

Posted 5 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Dec. 4, 2016 – People with epilepsy who experienced longer seizures during a simulated driving test may face an increased risk for crashes while on the road, a new study suggests. About 75 percent of people with epilepsy use medication to control their seizures and are able to drive. The remainder of patients typically keep a journal of seizures, noting how long they last, and doctors use that information to determine whether patients can drive safely, the study authors explained. The new study included 16 people with epilepsy who used a driving simulator for between one to 10 hours, most for an average of three to four hours. In total, the patients had 20 seizures, seven of which resulted in "crashes." The longer the seizure, the greater the chance of a "crash." Seizures lasted an average of 75 seconds among patients who crashed and 30 seconds among those who didn't crash. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Topamax, Epilepsy, Keppra, Topiramate, Tegretol, Qsymia, Dilantin, Seizure Prevention, Carbamazepine, Levetiracetam, Phenytoin, Tegretol XR, Seizure Prophylaxis, Valproic Acid, Phentermine/topiramate, Carbatrol, Epitol, Keppra XR, Status Epilepticus

11 Percent of Stroke Survivors Struggle With Epilepsy

Posted 4 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Dec. 3, 2016 – More than one in 10 stroke survivors develop epilepsy, and the greater the brain damage caused by stroke, the higher the risk of seizures, a new study reports. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition marked by recurrent, unprovoked seizures, muscle spasms or convulsions. Researchers analyzed data from 450 stroke survivors in the United Kingdom and found that 11 percent developed epilepsy after their stroke. The study found that those who developed epilepsy had twice the amount of brain damage as those who did not develop seizures. Those who developed epilepsy were an average of 44 years old, compared with an average age of 56 for those who did not develop epilepsy. But the study did not prove that more brain damage causes epilepsy risk to rise. Brain damage from stroke tends to be more extensive in younger people, putting them at higher risk for epilepsy, ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Ischemic Stroke, Seizure Prevention, Transient Ischemic Attack, Seizure Prophylaxis, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Status Epilepticus

Health Tip: Create a Safer Home for Kids With Seizures

Posted 24 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

-- If your child has epilepsy, you can take steps to reduce the risk of a seizure leading to injury. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests: Securing padding to any object with sharp corners, such as a table or countertop. Avoiding glass tables. Getting your child a bed that is low to the floor. Making sure carpeting is non-slip, and not using throw rugs. Read more

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

Moms' Rheumatoid Arthritis May Be Linked to Epilepsy Risk in Kids

Posted 16 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16, 2016 – Some children born to mothers with rheumatoid arthritis may have higher-than-average odds of developing epilepsy, a new study suggests. Children born to mothers with rheumatoid arthritis were one-third more likely to develop epilepsy by age 4 than other children. The risk of epilepsy later in childhood was one-quarter higher for those born to moms with rheumatoid arthritis, the study found. But, experts stressed that the findings don't prove that a mother's rheumatoid arthritis causes epilepsy. So far, only an association has been found. And even if children of women with rheumatoid arthritis have a higher epilepsy risk than other kids do, the odds are still low. In the study of nearly 2 million children, the vast majority of those born to moms with rheumatoid arthritis did not develop epilepsy, said lead researcher Ane Lilleore Rom, of Copenhagen University ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Seizures, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Seizure Prophylaxis, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, Still's Disease, Diagnosis and Investigation, Rheumatoid Lung, Felty's Syndrome

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