Brain science; genetics

New genetic study of epilepsy may reveal future treatments

A study involving nearly 45,000 participants, has discovered 11 new genes associated with epilepsy. Researchers compared the DNA of 15,000 people with epilepsy to the DNA of 30,000 people without epilepsy in the largest study of its’ kind to implicate the 11 new genes. They also found that the majority of current anti-epileptic drugs directly target one or more of read more

Can seizures in Angelman syndrome be controlled by gene therapy?

Angelman syndrome is a severe genetic neurological disorder that occurs in children and is most often diagnosed between the ages of 3 and 7 when the clinical symptoms become apparent. Amongst other symptoms are intellectual and developmental delay. The syndrome is also characterised by epileptic seizures which occur in 90% of cases. There is no known cure and there is read more

What might we see in epilepsy research developments in the coming years?

Dr Vincenzo Marra from the University of Leicester was awarded an Epilepsy Research UK project grant earlier this year to look at how naturally occurring changes in the brain during a seizure could throw light on new therapeutic targets. As Dr Marra explains: “I am interested in how the brain can handle an enormous amount of information with very little read more

Brain seizures can occur if perineuronal nets are dissolved

Scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have determined that perineuronal nets modulate electrical impulses in the brain. What’s more, brain seizures can occur if the nets are dissolved. These findings have implications for some types of acquired epilepsy caused through trauma, tumours or infection of the brain. And further, if the team’s hypotheses are correct, the findings could read more

Rapid advances in genomics mean that more people with epilepsy may benefit

Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Centre have shown how quickly rapid advancements in genomics may benefit epilepsy patients. In a third of epilepsy cases reviewed in children, there was a change of diagnosis based on the new available data and in some cases this led to doctors prescribing more effective treatments. The study suggests that reviews should be conducted every read more

How Biomarkers will Transform epilepsy care in the 2020s

We asked Professor Deb Pal, from King’s College London, who was awarded an ERUK pilot grant in this year’s funding round, to give us his view on where the biggest advances will be made in epilepsy research over the next few years.  Here is his response. At my primary school in the 1970s, we had an old lady music teacher read more

The future of epilepsy research: new personalised treatment options and novel therapeutics.

It is estimated that the first human genome sequenced in 2003 cost almost $1 billion and took four years to complete. Fast-forward fifteen years, and remarkably, genomic technologies have advanced so quickly that DNA sequencing is now a valuable and cost-effective clinical tool. The field of epilepsy research has certainly benefitted from genomics, providing a rapid advance in our understanding read more

A closer look at ……GLUTAMATE

Cells in the brain must communicate with each other to function correctly. They do this using chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters travel to neighbouring cells through junctions called synapses. Glutamate is the most common neurotransmitter in the body. Although glutamate is vital for the healthy functioning of the brain, research has found abnormal patterns of glutamate immediately before epileptic seizures. read more

What’s new and exciting in epilepsy research?

We asked Dr Robert Wykes, a translational medicine scientist for his personal perspective.  Here is his response: Despite decades of new anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) reaching market, the problem of drug refractory epilepsy remains. 25-30% of patients do not respond appropriately to AEDs. However in recent years advances in technology and non-pharmacological approaches are beginning to address this clinical need. We read more

A closer look at ……..SYNAPTIC VESICLES

In order to conduct the millions of tasks the human brain completes every day, nerve cells must communicate with each other. Neighbouring cells are connected by junctions, which are called synapses. Chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters, must travel from one cell to another across a synapse in order to deliver a message. Before travelling across synapses, these chemical messengers are stored read more

What does the future of Epilepsy Research hold?

Dr Simon Keller at the University of Liverpool was awarded a £73,220 project grant in this year’s funding round.  We asked Dr Keller and his colleague Professor Tony Marson for their perspective on what the next ten years of epilepsy research hold. This is what they said: “It is difficult to know for sure how treatments for seizures will improve read more

Improving epilepsy care through brain modelling

Researchers from France are trialling the use of brain modelling to improve epilepsy care in a large clinical study. In planning surgery, scientists create personalised brain models of patients and simulate the spread of abnormal activity during epileptic seizures. Earlier studies showed promising results for this approach which is now providing the basis for a large scale trial in a read more

Alzheimer’s disease and antiepileptic medication

According to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland there is an increased risk of stroke among people with Alzheimer’s who are being treated with antiepileptic drugs.  The incidence of an epilepsy diagnosis is highest in those who are young or in those aged over 65.  Part of the reason for this increase in the older population is read more

Personal experience and scientific evidence – what does it feel like to have a seizure?

What does it feel like to have a seizure? Whilst neurologists will say that a seizure is caused by an over-excitation of neuronal activity in the brain, some people describe their experience as an ‘earthquake, starting slow and growing’. Now, studies at Jefferson (Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University), have shown that some types of seizure paradoxically begin with a read more

Brain tumours and epilepsy in children

Compared with the effects of brain tumours in adults, brain tumours in children cause additional problems and complications. One issue is that they can lead to intractable epilepsy. However the genetic cause of this hard-to-treat epilepsy in paediatric brain tumours is not yet fully understood and nor can it be effectively treated with existing epileptic drugs. Now a Korean research read more

Genetic epilepsies respond to epilepsy surgery in different ways

Technological advances in recent years mean that it is now easier, and considerably cheaper, to test people with epilepsy for underlying genetic causes. As a result of this, scientists have been able to uncover new genetic abnormalities linked to epilepsy. If scientists can understand the causes of a person’s epilepsy, they may be able to provide improved epilepsy treatments. This read more

Implant in brain detects, stops and prevents seizures

Researchers led by the University of Cambridge have successfully used an implanted device in the brain to detect, stop and prevent epileptic seizures in an animal model. When the first signals of a seizure were detected, the device delivered a naturally occurring brain chemical (a neurotransmitter) which stopped the seizure from progressing. There are many different types of epileptic seizure read more

Researchers find protein linked to the treatment of both epilepsy and bipolar disorder

A team of researchers from the Royal Holloway have found that one particular protein which was known to be implicated in both epilepsy and bipolar disorder seems to be the key linking the treatment of both disorders. Sodium valproate which is associated with an increased chance of birth defects if taken during pregnancy, is used in the treatment of both read more

Tailoring treatment for Early Infant Epileptic Encephalopathy

  Diagnosing epilepsy early is important as it means that treatment can start earlier and any associated developmental risks associated with the condition can be minimised. Research has found that more than 50 genes are associated with Early Infant Epileptic Encephalopathy (EIEE) but routine genetic tests fail in at least half the cases to pinpoint the cause of the condition. read more

Page 1 of 3812345...102030...Last »

News categories