Brain science; genetics

Common and Rare Epilepsies Share Genetic Mutations

Posted 18 Jan 2017 in Brain science; genetics

Several genes previously thought to be associated with only rare types of epilepsy seen in children are also involved in more common types of the condition, according to a study published in the scientific journal The Lancet Neurology. This finding suggests that therapeutic approaches, which target the precise genetic cause of epilepsy and which are used to tackle rare forms read more

Gene Associated with Bipolar Disorder also Linked to Epilepsy

Posted 5 Jan 2017 in Brain science; genetics

A gene called ANK3, which is associated with bipolar disorder (formerly known as manic depression) could also be linked to epilepsy, according to a study published in the scientific journal Molecular Psychology. This new finding means that ANK3 could be targeted and opens new potential avenues for the treatment of epilepsy. Research led by Dr Edward Cooper, at Baylor College read more

Continuous EEG Recording Could Help Doctors Identify People Most at Risk of Developing Seizures

Posted 3 Jan 2017 in Brain science; genetics

Continuous electroencephalographic (EEG) monitoring and a detailed interpretation of the data obtained from such monitoring could help doctors classify patients according to their risk of having seizures, according to a study published in the medical journal JAMA Neurology. This knowledge could help them make better clinical decisions such as treating those at higher risk of seizures with more aggressive treatment approaches. In read more

Study Sheds Light Onto How Flashing Images May Trigger Epileptic Seizures

Posted 21 Dec 2016 in Brain science; genetics

A new study published in the scientific journal, NeuroImage, may help explain how rhythmic stimulations at certain frequencies such as flickering images can lead to epileptic seizures. In a press release, Senior Author Dr Marc Goodfellow, at the University of Exeter, said: “Our findings help to elucidate mechanisms of the generation and spreading of epileptic seizures in the brain”. The read more

Absence Seizures Could Be Prevented, Experimental Study Suggests

Posted 20 Dec 2016 in Brain science; genetics

It may be possible to reduce, stop or even prevent absence seizures, the most common form of childhood epilepsy, according to a study published in the leading scientific journal Neuron. Using an advanced technology called optogenetics and a rodent model, researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine showed that it is possible to trigger seizures by inducing synchronized, rhythmic activity read more

Neural Stem Cells Found in Brain Tissue Removed During Epilepsy Surgery

Posted 19 Dec 2016 in Brain science; genetics

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, in Sweden, have found neural stem cells in epileptic brain tissue where they normally do not reside. This work is published in the scientific journal, Cerebral Cortex. Neural stem cells are immature cells in the brain that are able to mature into neurons, astrocytes (non-neuronal support cells) or oligodendrocytes (producers of myelin, which is needed for effective read more

Scientists Identify Network of Genes that Could Be Targeted to Treat Epilepsy

Posted 14 Dec 2016 in Brain science; genetics

Researchers led by Professor Michael Johnson, at Imperial College London, have identified a network of genes that is associated with epilepsy. The team believes that targeting the expression of this “epileptic network” of 320 genes, which they called M30, could be a new strategy to treat the condition. In a news release, Professor Johnson said: “The discovery of this network of genes read more

Reducing Calorie Intake May Reduce Epileptic Seizures

Posted 5 Dec 2016 in Brain science; genetics

Reducing calorie intake could reduce seizures and be beneficial for people with epilepsy, according to a study published in the leading scientific journal, Neuron. It has been known for several years that fasting can offer health benefits and expand life span, but scientists at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, in the US, together with colleagues from Canada, offer for the read more

Genetic Changes that Cause Loss of a Certain Type of Memory Can Also Protect Against Epilepsy

Posted 2 Dec 2016 in Brain science; genetics

A new biological mechanism that damages only a specific type of memory can provide protection against epilepsy according to a study published in the scientific journal Cerebral Cortex. The biological pathway involves a genetic modification in a protein called eEF2K, which regulates the expression of other proteins. According to the authors, the eEF2K protein could be a potential new target read more

New Imaging Method Could Help Predict Which Patients Will Benefit From Surgery

Posted 22 Nov 2016 in Brain science; genetics

A new imaging method could help predict which patients are likely to be free of seizures and which ones are likely to experience recurring seizures following brain surgery, according to a study published in the scientific journal Brain. The authors state that there is very little information that can help predict the outcome of surgery in epilepsy, and that this read more

New Method Could Pinpoint More Accurately Where Seizures Arise

Posted 11 Nov 2016 in Brain science; genetics

Researchers in the US and China have developed a new brain implant that can monitor the activity of individual brain cells at a much higher resolution than was previously possible. Their work is published in the leading scientific journal, Science Advances According to Senior Author Dr György Buzsáki, at New York University, the implant could help recognise pathological activities in the read more

New Approach Could Alter the Course of Epilepsy After Brain Injury

Posted 2 Nov 2016 in Brain science; genetics

Removing granule cells (types of neuron) at a certain time point after an epilepsy-causing brain injury could have disease-modifying effects, according to a study published the Journal of Neuroscience. Granule cells that are generated in the weeks before and after an epilepsy-causing brain injury can abnormally integrate into certain areas of the brain, mediating the development of temporal lobe epilepsy. read more

Neuro Chip Could Help Scientists Identify Drugs that Work Best to Treat Epilepsy

Posted 27 Oct 2016 in Brain science; genetics

Researchers at the University of Calgary, in Canada, have developed a neuro chip that enables long-term, high fidelity recordings from brain cells at a resolution 15 times higher than existing setups. According to Pierre Wijdenes and the co-authors of the study, which is published in the journal, Scientific Reports, this new technology could help better understand brain function and offers great opportunities, read more

Distinct Brain Activity in Between Seizures Can Affect Thinking Ability in Adults with Epilepsy

Posted 20 Oct 2016 in Brain science; genetics

Interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs) – distinct patterns of brain activity that happen in between epileptic seizures – are associated with poorer cognitive performance (thinking ability) in adults with epilepsy, according to a study published in the scientific journal, Epilepsy Research. Therefore, reducing IEDs could improve cognitive performance and have positive effects on the quality of life of people with epilepsy. The study, read more

The Generation of Epileptiform Discharges May Not Be Random and May Be Controlled by Biological Clocks

Posted 19 Oct 2016 in Brain science; genetics

A study published in the journal, Epilepsy and Behavior, suggests that the generation of epileptiform discharges (EDs – distinct patterns of brain activity that can arise in between epileptic seizures) is not a random process but the result of complex interactions controlling sleep-wake cycles. It also highlights that the majority of EDs may, in fact, occur during sleep. On the basis of their read more

Analysis of Genetic Variations Could Help Develop New Therapies for Epilepsy

Posted 10 Oct 2016 in Brain science; genetics

A new study, published in the  American Journal of Human Genetics, sheds light onto how variations in genes can influence the activity of important proteins in the brain and may lead to neurological disorders. The study focused on two genes called GRIN2A and GRIN2B, which are linked to epilepsy, intellectual disability and a number of other neurological conditions. These genes encode for two read more

Newly Identified Biomarker Could Predict the Onset and Progression of Epileptic Seizures

Posted 6 Oct 2016 in Brain science; genetics

Researchers at the University of Colorado have identified a new biomarker that could predict the onset and progression of seizures associated with epilepsy. Biomarkers are substances found in the blood or urine that can indicate a biological state or a medical condition. They are invaluable in helping clinicians diagnose or predict the progression of a condition and measure how well read more

Molecule Involved in Memory and Learning Could Be Key in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Posted 29 Sep 2016 in Brain science; genetics

A new study, conducted by researchers at Duke University and the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, could shed light on how certain types of epilepsy develop in the brain. This in turn could help scientists find new approaches to treat the condition. The study is published in the leading scientific journal, Nature. Co-Senior Author, Dr James McNamara, at Duke University, read more

500 year-old Genetic Mutation May Be Responsible for EAST Syndrome

Posted 29 Sep 2016 in Brain science; genetics

EAST syndrome is a genetic condition that includes epilepsy, lack of voluntary muscle coordination including gait abnormality, deafness caused by hearing nerve problems and salt loss caused by kidney problems. It can result from a number of changes (mutations) in a gene called KCNJ10, which encodes a type of potassium ion channel. The mutations cause the channels to lose their function. Although there are 14 different mutations associated read more

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