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

'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, West Syndrome, Status Epilepticus, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging

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, Seizure Prophylaxis, Cannabis, Status Epilepticus, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome

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, Tegretol, Topiramate, Dilantin, Qsymia, Carbamazepine, Seizure Prevention, Levetiracetam, Phenytoin, Tegretol XR, Seizure Prophylaxis, Valproic Acid, Keppra XR, Epitol, Carbatrol, Depakene, West Syndrome

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, Ischemic Stroke, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Transient Ischemic Attack, Seizure Prophylaxis, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Status Epilepticus

Newer Epilepsy Drugs May Be Safer During Pregnancy

Posted 1 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 1, 2016 – Women who take the new epilepsy drugs levetiracetam and topiramate during pregnancy don't run the risk of harming their infant's mental development, British researchers report. But the commonly prescribed anti-seizure drug valproate was linked with lower IQs in children, especially when taken at higher doses, researchers say. "The treatment of epilepsy in women who are considering a pregnancy or are pregnant involves optimizing the health of the mother as well as keeping the risk to the fetus as low as possible," said lead researcher Rebecca Bromley, a research fellow at the Institute for Human Development at the University of Manchester. In the study, children exposed to levetiracetam (Keppra) or topiramate (Topamax) in the womb did not differ from children not exposed to these drugs. And they had better outcomes than the children exposed to valproate ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Emergency Contraception, Seizures, Topamax, Epilepsy, Keppra, Topiramate, Qsymia, Postcoital Contraception, Seizure Prevention, Levetiracetam, Seizure Prophylaxis, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Keppra XR, West Syndrome, Status Epilepticus, Trokendi XR, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Topamax Sprinkle

Young People With Epilepsy Struggle on Many Fronts

Posted 10 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 10, 2016 – Children and young adults with epilepsy face an array of psychological, physical and social challenges, a new analysis reveals. Australian researchers reviewed 43 studies that included a total of more than 950 children, teens and young adults, and delved into their experiences with the seizure disorder. "Children with epilepsy feel vulnerable from a physical and a social perspective," said study author Deepak Gill. He is a pediatric neurologist who heads the Children's Comprehensive Epilepsy Service at the Children's Hospital of Westmead, in New South Wales. "One theme that came out was the loss of bodily control, and that the person during a seizure can feel physically overpowered, with worry that the seizures would lead to serious injury," Gill added. Those with epilepsy also reported feeling inferior and discriminated against. Some of the comments from the ... Read more

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

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, Status Epilepticus, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome

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, Status Epilepticus, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Diagnosis and Investigation, 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, Seizure Prophylaxis, Cannabis, West Syndrome, Status Epilepticus, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome

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, Seizure Prophylaxis, Cannabis, Status Epilepticus

Music Therapy Might One Day Help People With Epilepsy

Posted 9 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Aug. 9, 2015 – Music therapy might someday help people with epilepsy, a new study suggests. About 80 percent of epilepsy patients have temporal lobe epilepsy, in which seizures originate in the temporal lobe of the brain. Music is processed in the auditory cortex, located in the same region of the brain, which is why researchers from Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center wanted to study the connection. The study authors said that the brains of epilepsy patients appear to react to music differently from the brains of people without the disorder. "We believe that music could potentially be used as an intervention to help people with epilepsy," Christine Charyton, adjunct assistant professor and visiting assistant professor of neurology, said in an American Psychological Association (APA) news release. Charyton plans to present the research Sunday at the APA's annual ... Read more

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

'Autoinjector' Offers Safe, Speedy Care for Life-Threatening Seizures: Study

Posted 15 Feb 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15 – Using an autoinjector device to deliver anti-seizure drugs into muscle is a fast, safe and effective way to treat status epilepticus, a prolonged type of seizure that lasts longer than five minutes, researchers report. "This is a very important study for persons with epilepsy," said one outside expert, Dr. Jacqueline French, first vice president of the American Epilepsy Society. "Prolonged seizures and status epilepticus can lead to brain damage, prolonged hospitalization, and other serious harm. The earlier treatment is initiated, the greater the likelihood that the seizure activity can be aborted quickly, and harm can be avoided," she said. French, who is also professor of neurology at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at New York University Langone Medical Center, New York City, believes the study "will set a new standard for treatment by emergency teams, that ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Ativan, Lorazepam, Versed, Midazolam, Status Epilepticus

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