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Epilepsy News

Health Tip: Managing Epilepsy in Children

Posted 3 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

-- About 470,000 children aged 17 or younger have epilepsy in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. If your family includes a child with the neurological disorder, the agency recommends creating a plan to manage epilepsy at school: Keep open lines of communication with your health care provider to ensure that your child's seizures are controlled as much as possible. Explore different treatment options for your child with epilepsy. Encourage the school nurse and school staff to educate themselves about epilepsy and appropriate first aid. Read more

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

Sunovion’s Aptiom (eslicarbazepine acetate) Receives FDA Approval for Expanded Indication to Treat Partial-Onset Seizures in Children and Adolescents 4 Years of Age and Older

Posted 20 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

MARLBOROUGH, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--September 14, 2017 Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Sunovion) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) to expand the indication for its antiepileptic drug (AED) Aptiom (eslicarbazepine acetate) to include treatment of partial-onset seizures (POS) in children and adolescents four to 17 years of age. Aptiom is also approved in the U.S. for the treatment of POS in adults. Aptiom is a once-daily, immediate release AED that can be taken whole or crushed, with or without food. “Despite being the most common seizure type in patients with epilepsy, there continues to be a critical need for new therapeutic options for partial-onset seizures, especially for children and adolescents,” said Steven Wolf, M.D., Director of Pediatric Epilepsy and Associate Professor of Neurology at Mount S ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Aptiom, Eslicarbazepine

FDA Approves New indication for Briviact (brivaracetam) as Monotherapy Treatment of Partial-Onset Seizures in Adults

Posted 20 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

Atlanta, Georgia (U.S.) & Brussels (Belgium), 15 September, 2017 – 0700 (CEST): UCB announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a supplemental new drug application (sNDA) for Briviact (brivaracetam) CV as monotherapy for partial-onset (focal) seizures (POS) in patients 16 years and older with epilepsy.1 This is a new indication for Briviact, which is already approved in the U.S. as adjunctive treatment for POS in patients in this age group. As a result, adults and adolescents aged 16 years and older with POS in the U.S. can now be initiated on Briviact as monotherapy or adjunctive therapy. Briviact is the newest antiepileptic drug (AED) in the ‘racetam’ class of medicines and demonstrates a high and selective affinity for synaptic vesicle protein 2A (SV2A) in the brain, which may contribute to its anticonvulsant effects. Gradual dose escalation is not ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Briviact, Brivaracetam

New Clues to Why Yawns Are Contagious

Posted 31 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 31, 2017 – The "contagiousness" of yawns may be rooted in primitive brain reflexes, British researchers report. Echophenomena is the term for contagious movements such as yawns. Humans tend to yawn when they see others yawn, and so do chimpanzees and dogs. Researchers at the University of Nottingham wondered where the roots of this type of echophenomena are located. They examined 36 adults as they looked at video clips of people yawning. The participants were told to either try to stop themselves from yawning or just let it happen. The researchers found that it's hard to resist yawning when you see someone yawn, and the urge to yawn gets stronger when you're told not to do it. The researchers also found that people differ in their vulnerability to yawns. "We suggest that these findings may be particularly important in understanding further the association between motor ... Read more

Related support groups: Epilepsy, Dementia, Autism, Tourette's Syndrome, Asperger Syndrome

Pot Compound Alters Levels of Seizure Drug in Epilepsy Patients

Posted 11 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 11, 2017 – Scientists experimenting with the marijuana compound cannabidiol as an epilepsy treatment must evaluate any interactions with other anti-seizure drugs patients are taking, researchers report. The new research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham suggests cannabidiol affects blood levels of several anti-seizure drugs, especially clobazam. Cannabidiol (CBD) has shown promise as a potential anti-seizure compound in animal and human studies, the Alabama researchers said. They are testing it as a therapy for difficult-to-control epilepsy in 39 adults and 42 children. Other drugs that the participants are taking include clobazam (Onfi), topiramate (Topamax), rufinamide (Banzel), zonisamide (Zonegran), valproate (Depakote) and eslicarbazepine. Blood levels of some of the drugs changed significantly, but except for clobazam, they did not deviate from the ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Topamax, Epilepsy, Topiramate, Qsymia, Seizure Prevention, Zonisamide, Zonegran, Cannabis, Valproic Acid, Seizure Prophylaxis, Depakene, Aptiom, Onfi, Clobazam, West Syndrome, Status Epilepticus, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Banzel, Trokendi XR

Number of Americans With Epilepsy at Record Level

Posted 10 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 10, 2017 – More Americans than ever are living with epilepsy, federal health officials reported Thursday. According to the new report, 1.2 percent of the population – about 3 million adults and 470,000 children – were being treated for epilepsy or had experienced recent seizures in 2015, the researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The number of adults with active epilepsy rose from 2.3 million in 2010. Epilepsy among children rose by 20,000 between 2007 and 2015, according to the report's coauthor, Rosemarie Kobau, the head of the CDC's epilepsy program. "The increase is probably because of population growth," Kobau said. "We don't know if other factors are involved." The report, published Aug. 11 in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, offers epilepsy estimates for every state for the first time, which shows the condition ... Read more

Related support groups: Klonopin, Gabapentin, Seizures, Clonazepam, Ativan, Lyrica, Valium, Topamax, Lorazepam, Neurontin, Epilepsy, Diazepam, Topiramate, Dilantin, Pregabalin, Seizure Prevention, Zonisamide, Diamox, Phenytoin, Gralise

Genetic Testing Can Help Pinpoint Epilepsy Earlier

Posted 31 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 31, 2017 – A new study supports routine genetic testing for epilepsy in young children with seizures. "Precision medicine means nothing without precision diagnosis, and we can now provide precision diagnosis," said study lead author Anne Berg, of the Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. "Genetic testing should be incorporated into the routine initial evaluation of young children with epilepsy," Berg said in a hospital news release. The sooner a precision diagnosis can be made, the sooner a child can start treatment, she said. "Identifying the precise cause of a child's epilepsy as soon as possible would help us choose the most effective treatment to control seizures early on, which is important for healthier brain development," Berg added. The study included information on 775 children across the United States who developed ... Read more

Related support groups: Klonopin, Seizures, Clonazepam, Ativan, Valium, Lorazepam, Epilepsy, Diazepam, Dilantin, Seizure Prevention, Phenytoin, Seizure Prophylaxis, Klonopin Wafer, Diagnosis and Investigation, Onfi, Clobazam, West Syndrome, Status Epilepticus, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Phenytoin Sodium

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, Diamox, Zonisamide, Phenytoin, Primidone, Zonegran, Acetazolamide, Seizure Prophylaxis

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, Hydrocephalus, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, 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, Diagnosis and Investigation, West Syndrome, Status Epilepticus, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Head Imaging

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