Living with epilepsy

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

Treatment for sleep apnoea may ease epileptic seizures

Posted 7 Dec 2017 in Living with epilepsy

Newly published research from America suggests that all patients with epilepsy should be checked for sleep disorders, because treatments for these conditions, could in turn help in the treatment of their epilepsy. As lead investigator Dr Thapanee Somboon, a research fellow at the Cleveland Clinic’s sleep disorders centre pointed out, “many people with epilepsy don’t realise they have sleep apnoea. read more

Sleep deprivation has major impact on brain

Posted 13 Nov 2017 in Living with epilepsy

New research carried out at UCLA and Tel Aviv University shows that a lack of sleep has a major impact on how the brain functions.  The research, published in the journal Nature Medicine, adds to a growing body of research about the impact of sleep deprivation on brain function. The researchers studied 12 people with epilepsy who had electrode implants read more

Jeremy Hunt’s response to valproate pregnancy risks

Posted 15 Oct 2017 in Anti-epileptic drugs / Living with epilepsy

In the lead-up to the EMA hearing on valproate, Clare Pelham, Chief Executive of Epilepsy Society, wrote to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health. She asked him to introduce mandatory annual reviews for women who take valproate-related drugs, and who could potentially become pregnant, so that they are fully informed of the risks the drugs pose to unborn babies. The read more

Priority setting in epilepsy

Posted 15 Oct 2017 in Living with epilepsy

The importance of public and patient involvement in identifying health research priorities is now more widely recognised, and research funding bodies actively seek the input of people affected by different medical conditions as equal partners. Here, we would like to update you on the work that has been done in the epilepsy field. The process In 2009-2010 a ‘master list’ read more

EMA public hearing about valproate in pregnancy

Posted 26 Sep 2017 in Living with epilepsy

26 September 2017 The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will today hold a public hearing about the risks of valproate and related drugs during pregnancy. The background to and aims of the hearing are outlined here (document downloaded from the EMA website), and you can follow the event live from 12:45 here (click ‘Public hearing’ tab). Seizure control during pregnancy is very important; however, babies read more

Levetiracetam-Lupin discontinued in the UK

Posted 21 Jul 2017 in Living with epilepsy

A version of levetiracetam called Levetiracetam-Lupin, made by Lupin (Europe) Ltd, has been discontinued in the UK. This means that this form of levetiracetam is no longer available in the UK, and if you currently take it you will be changed to a different version. If you are at all worried about this, please contact your doctor, epilepsy nurse or pharmacist read more

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