Living with epilepsy

Sleep apnoea and epilepsy: is there a relationship?

What is the relationship between epilepsy and sleep apnoea? In previous studies it has been shown that a greater number of people with epilepsy also experience sleep apnoea, than in the general population. Researchers from Rutgers University wanted to develop a screening tool to detect sleep apnoea in patients with epilepsy as it is known that sleep apnoea can increase 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

Sleep disorders and epilepsy

Sleep disorders in people with epilepsy can exacerbate their symptoms and often remains undiagnosed. Now researchers from Rutgers University have developed a tool to help neurologists identify people with obstructive sleep apnoea whose epilepsy may be magnified by their sleep disorder.  Identifying sleep disorders and treating them can help in seizure control in some people.  At the moment specialists have read more

Is there a way to determine who will react badly to antiepileptic medication?

Posted 21 Sep 2018 in Anti-epileptic drugs / Living with epilepsy

A quick, easy and inexpensive test could one day help specialists determine which epilepsy patients are likely to react badly to carbamazepine. Carbamazepine is an antiepileptic drug  which is widely used as a first line treatment for epilepsy, but is also prescribed for other conditions, such as bipolar disorder and neuralgia.  However, it can also cause extreme skin conditions in read more

Neurostimulation may offer hope for memory enhancement in epilepsy

Posted 14 Sep 2018 in Memory / Epilepsy general / Living with epilepsy

Despite memory difficulties being a top concern for people with epilepsy, there are currently no existing treatments available to directly target memory issues that are related to epilepsy. This was what motivated researchers from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth University, in the U.S. to investigate neurostimulation. Stephen Meisenhelter and Dr Barbara Jobst reviewed 61 recent research studies on read more

Accurate seizure prediction possible for more people with epilepsy

Accurate seizure prediction is vital for people whose epilepsy remains uncontrolled. Thanks to the crowdsourcing of 10,000 algorithms worldwide researchers at the University of Melbourne are confident that clinically relevant epileptic seizure prediction is possible in a wider range of patients than previously thought. “Our evaluation revealed on average a 90 per cent improvement in seizure prediction performance, compared to read more

Did you know that men are at a slightly increased risk of developing epilepsy?

Posted 26 Jun 2018 in Epilepsy general / Living with epilepsy

There is a small but significant increased risk of epilepsy in men.  They also tend to be more susceptible than women to focal epilepsy.  And when it comes to antiepileptic medication, although the drug therapies seem to treat the seizures in the same way and to the same effect, the side effects experienced can be very different.   With recent read more

ERUK welcomes new regulations for use of epilepsy drug in women and girls of childbearing age

New regulations for the prescription of anti-epileptic drug have been introduced by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulation Authority (MHRA). Sodium valproate (also known as Epilim, Depakote, Epival, Episenta, and Convulex) can be prescribed for epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and migraine, can no longer be prescribed to women of childbearing age unless they are on a pregnancy prevention plan (PPP). The guidelines read more

Those with epilepsy at greater risk of dying from ‘unnatural causes’

Research findings have just been published which indicate that whilst the incidence is low, those with epilepsy are more likely than the population at large to die from ‘unnatural causes’. As Dr Hayley Gorton from Manchester University says “We already know that people with epilepsy are at increased risk of dying prematurely, but such a detailed examination of specific types read more

How can technology help those with epilepsy manage their condition?

Posted 31 Mar 2018 in Living with epilepsy

The Epilepsy Care Alliance formed of Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Kent, and various tech companies has been running a programme, named myCareCentric Epilepsy, exploring how technology can equip people with the ability to self-manage their condition. Patients enrolled in the programme are given a wearable device which records their health data and monitors seizures, building a read more

Parents at risk of mental health issues if they have a child with epilepsy

Posted 17 Mar 2018 in Living with epilepsy

Epilepsy does not just affect the individual diagnosed but their family, friends, colleagues and aquaintances. A new study has shown that parents, and particularly mothers, are at greater risk of mental health issues such as anxiety, stress and depression if they have a child diagnosed with epilepsy. And this is especially the case where the child also has behavioural problems. read more

Brain training can significantly reduce the number of seizures

Posted 25 Jan 2018 in Living with epilepsy

Groundbreaking research carried out in the UK has shown that the number and frequency of seizures can be reduced by training the brain to be more alert.  For the majority of people diagnosed with epilepsy, seizures will be controlled by a drug regime but for approximately 30-40%, their seizures will be resistant to medication and will remain poorly controlled.  For read more

Researchers closer to forecasting the likelihood of a seizure

Posted 17 Jan 2018 in Living with epilepsy

For many people it is the unpredictability of their epilepsy which causes them most stress and anxiety.  Now researchers from the University of California, San Francisco believe they are close to being able to forecast a patient’s seizure risk over time. Neurologists at the University have discovered, through the implantation of a device in the brain which has been able read more

Children who have chronic illnesses are more at risk of mental health issues

Posted 13 Jan 2018 in Living with epilepsy

Perhaps unsurprisingly, new research from the University of Waterloo in Canada has found that children who have chronic illnesses such as epilepsy are more at risk of mental health issues. And further, those who are diagnosed with a physical condition and a mental health disorder will experience a significant decline in their quality of life within the first six months read more

Presurgical imaging may predict whether epilepsy surgery will work

Posted 2 Jan 2018 in Living with epilepsy

Precise diagnosis of epilepsy and thorough analysis of the treatment options available for each individual is vital to achieve seizure freedom. Surgery may be an option for some people, but until now there has been no way of ascertaining whether or not the seizures will continue after surgery.  Now statisticians at Rice University have developed a method for integrating neuroimaging read more

World Health Organisation says cannabidiol could have therapeutic value for seizures.

Posted 28 Dec 2017 in Living with epilepsy

Although the World Health Organisation (WHO) has not gone so far as to endorse the use of medicinal marijuana in the treatment of certain conditions and diseases, they have recently stated that “Recent evidence from animal and human studies shows that a compound derived from marijuana (cannabidiol) could have some therapeutic value for seizures due to epilepsy and related conditions” read more

‘Beyond my Control’ – science meets theatre in this interactive performance

Posted 21 Dec 2017 in Living with epilepsy

Beyond My Control’, is a unique piece of theatre designed to explore life with epilepsy and the impact that front-line research can have on understanding the condition. Professor John Terry, an ERUK funded researcher, together with Exeter Northcott’s Artistic Director Paul Jepson, are bringing the production to venues across the country from Jan 30th to Feb 9th. Through testimonials from read more

A new tool to diagnose epilepsy

Posted 12 Dec 2017 in Living with epilepsy

Researchers from Canada and the Netherlands have recently presented findings which suggest that an electronic ‘nose’ is able to diagnose epilepsy, quickly, cheaply and non-invasively.  Their findings show that a  device, similar to a ‘breathalyser’ can analyse the compounds in exhaled breath and reliably diagnose epilepsy. Although this technology has been used in other fields, it has never before been read more

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