Living with epilepsy

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

Poll shows that almost 50% of people forget to take their medication at least once a month

Posted 20 Jun 2017 in Anti-epileptic drugs / Living with epilepsy

Patient adherence to medication regimes is a large problem across the world.  Across all medicines, it has been estimated that up to 75% of people do not take their medicines properly.  This could be a problem in epilepsy as a lowering of the medication in the bloodstream could lead to breakthrough seizures.  We wanted to know how often people who read more

Gaze matters!

Posted 12 Jun 2017 in Living with epilepsy

Epilepsy patients and others with damage in a part of the brain called the amygdala fail to recognise facial emotions, though they find faces looking sideways more memorable, a new study shows. The study, “Gaze matters! The effect of gaze direction on emotional enhancement of memory for faces in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy”, appeared in the journal Epilepsy and read more

Why do some images cause seizures while others do not?

A new study has investigated why it is that some images can cause seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy while other images don’t. We know that in people with photosensitive epilepsy, flashing lights can cause seizures. The impact of such provocative visuals can be quite staggering. In 1997, for example, a certain Pokémon episode triggered seizures in 685 people in read more

People with epilepsy frequently suffer from anxiety and depression but we are not sure why

Posted 8 May 2017 in Living with epilepsy

A recent study at the University of Sydney has looked into the prevalence of depression and anxiety disorders in people with epilepsy. The study, carried out by Dr Louise Sharpe and colleagues, was a meta-analysis and looked at 27 previously-published research papers on the subject. Dr Sharpe said: “It is often thought that depression is more common than anxiety in read more

New US Guidelines on sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP)

Posted 26 Apr 2017 in Living with epilepsy / Uncategorized

New guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology and the American Epilepsy Society, titled “Practice guideline: Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy incidence rates and risk factors” were presented at the 2017 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting currently being held in Boston, Massachusetts.  At the same time they were published in the journal Neurology. Guidelines author Dr Cynthia Harden said “Our read more

Stress associated with an increased risk of recurrent seizures in adults.

Posted 20 Apr 2017 in Living with epilepsy

Researchers at Columbia University in New York have conducted research which shows an association between stress and an increase in recurrent seizures in adults.  Recognising that there is a limited amount of research on the relationship between epilepsy and stressors, depression and anxiety disorders the researchers wanted to see if such a link existed. The researchers recruited patients from a read more

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