Epilepsy in children

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

Language Development After Epilepsy Surgery in Children: Final Report

This is the final report for a 2011 project grant for £99,805 awarded to Dr Torsten Baldeweg, Dr Frederique Liegeois, Professor Helen Cross, Dr Peter Rankin, and Professor Faraneh Vargha-Khadem at the Institute of Child Health, University College London.  Approximately one third of children with epilepsy do not respond to treatment with medication, and a proportion of these children may be considered for 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

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

Paediatric epilepsy care

In the early 2000s paediatric neurologists and the British Paediatric Neurology Association (BPNA) realised that there were shortcomings in the standard of care in the treatment of children with epilepsy.  It was clear that many children with epilepsy in the UK were treated by paediatricians with no specialised training in epilepsy.   And appalling as this finding was, it was 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

Cannabidiol shows promise alongside conventional epilepsy medication in Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome

Posted 20 Jun 2018 in Epilepsy in children / Other treatments

The use of medical cannabis to treat seizures has been in the news a lot this week due to the current case involving 12-year old Billy Caldwell. Last month, a study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on the results of a clinical trial of the effects of Cannabidiol on drop seizures in Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome read more

Brain activity responsible for absence seizures identified

An international team of researchers led by Professor Crunelli at Cardiff University have identified the brain activity that results in absence seizures. Absence epilepsy is the most common form of epilepsy in children and teenagers and causes periods of little or no awareness and can be mistaken for what looks like ‘daydreaming’ to the casual observer, but which is in read more

Autism and epilepsy

Early life epileptic seizures have been linked to autism and other disorders, but precisely why this relationship exists is not entirely clear. What has been known for some time is that there are critical periods in the development of the young brain and seizures can disrupt this, leading to learning and cognition issues. Now, Frances Jensen, a Professor of Neurology read more

Which commonly prescribed drug is more effective for infants with epilepsy?

Posted 12 Mar 2018 in Epilepsy in children

This is the question that a team of researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Chicago asked themselves. For more than 50% of infants diagnosed with epilepsy  with no known cause, it is important that clinicians know which medication might be most likely to control the condition. Getting it right early would mean better future outcomes for these babies. So researchers read more

Important findings for childhood absence epilepsy

Posted 14 Sep 2017 in Epilepsy in children

An experimental study of childhood absence epilepsy (CAE) suggests that brain activity is disturbed in between seizures (not just during them), and that this activity can continue despite therapy. This could potentially explain why some children with CAE experience problems with cognition (e.g. attention deficit), even though they are being successfully treated. The findings are published in the Journal of Physiology. read more

Heat as a seizure trigger

Posted 11 Sep 2017 in Epilepsy in children

The most common seizure trigger for children aged between 5 months and 6 years is fever. It is suspected that increased body temperature plays an important role in this, but infection and inflammation themselves could also be involved. A recent study, published in the journal Epilepsy Research, shows that in a genetic (rodent) model of Dravet syndrome, elevated body temperature alone, read more

Study supports genetic testing for newborns with epilepsy

Research at the University of Michigan suggests that most cases of newborn epilepsy have an identifiable genetic cause and that genetic testing for all newborns with epilepsy should be considered. Knowing the genetic cause of epilepsy not only guides treatment (offering the chance of a better prognosis), it gives parents and families peace of mind. It also means that parents read more

Study supports genetic testing for childhood epilepsy

A brand new review, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, supports the routine use of genetic testing for early-onset epilepsy. If applied across the board, this could make diagnosis and treatment a lot more effective, and provide important information for family planning. The online site drugtargetreview.com has shared a summary of the work, which you can click here to read. Do return for read more

Trial to prevent epilepsy in tuberous sclerosis

Posted 30 May 2017 in Epilepsy in children

A new clinical trial to investigate the prevention of epilepsy in children with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) has begun at the University of Texas. TSC is a rare genetic condition that causes growths known as ‘tubers’ to develop in different organs, including the brain. It can affect neurological functions, leading to seizures, developmental delay, autism and intellectual disability. Recent evidence read more

Childhood-Onset Epilepsy Could Be Linked to Accelerated Brain Ageing

Posted 29 Mar 2017 in Epilepsy in children

Childhood-onset epilepsy could be associated with accelerated brain ageing, according to a new study published in JAMA Neurology. According to the authors, childhood onset epilepsy could therefore be considered a neurobiological predisposition to cognitive disorders in later life. In order to determine whether adults with a history of childhood-onset epilepsy have an increased risk of accelerated cognitive impairment in later read more

New Set of Recommendations for Better Diagnosis and Management of Dravet Syndrome Developed

Posted 14 Mar 2017 in Epilepsy in children

A consensus panel of epilepsy specialists, experts in Dravet syndrome, and parents of children with Dravet syndrome came together to develop a set of recommendations for the better diagnosis and management of the condition.  The recommendations were published in the journal Pediatric Neurology. “We were able to identify areas where there was strong consensus that we hope will (1) inform read more

New Scoring Method Could Eliminate Unnecessary Distress to Children with “Staring Spells”

Posted 22 Feb 2017 in Epilepsy in children

Researchers in the U.S. developed a new scoring system that can help doctors prioritise which patients should receive long-term video-EEG monitoring to evaluate whether staring spells are epileptic seizures. Staring spells are episodes where children appear to stare into space and do not respond if spoken to or touched. These spells are the main symptom in patients with absence seizures read more

Sleep and Memory Consolidation in Children with Focal Epilepsy

Posted 27 Jan 2017 in Epilepsy in children

Researchers have shown for the first time that sleep-related memory consolidation is intact in a group of children with focal epilepsy. It is known that children with epilepsy have high rates of impairment in both cognitive function (including memory) and sleep. Therefore doctors have previously assumed that sleep-dependent memory consolidation might be compromised in children with epilepsy. Not so, apparently. read more

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