Other treatments

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

What’s new and exciting in epilepsy research?

We asked Dr Robert Wykes, a translational medicine scientist for his personal perspective.  Here is his response: Despite decades of new anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) reaching market, the problem of drug refractory epilepsy remains. 25-30% of patients do not respond appropriately to AEDs. However in recent years advances in technology and non-pharmacological approaches are beginning to address this clinical need. We 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

Protein found in microscopic worms may offer new treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy

Drug-resistant epilepsy is thought to affect about 30% of people with epilepsy, which is more than 200,000 people nationwide.  Now new research has suggested that a protein found in a type of worm could help to reduce the number of epileptic seizures experienced by people whose epilepsy remains uncontrolled.  At the moment the findings have only been witnessed in animal 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

New research shines a light on the ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet (which is high in protein and low in carbohydrate) has been used for a very long time to treat seizures in people with refractory epilepsy. However no-one has been entirely clear as to why it may be able to help reduce the number and severity of seizures. Now new research suggests that the diet may influence the read more

Could a fungus in the Red Sea lead to new epilepsy treatments

Antiepileptic medication controls seizures for the majority of people with epilepsy however between 30-40% of people will not respond to this medication and will not achieve seizure freedom. Researchers are therefore always looking for new compounds that could potentially treat epilepsy and in order to find new leads they have now started to look at the sea as a unique read more

New hope for the treatment of intractable epilepsy

Posted 7 May 2018 in Brain science; genetics / Other treatments

Although the majority of people diagnosed with epilepsy will have their seizures controlled with medication a significant number of people will not respond satisfactorily to any current treatment.  We know that many seizures in severe forms of epilepsy originate in the hippocampus of the brain. Researchers from Lund University in Sweden have shown that they were able to reduce seizures read more

Where to place electrodes in advance of brain surgery?

Brain surgery is clearly an extremely difficult and precise procedure.  In advance of surgery for patients with intractable epilepsy doctors have to decide where to plant the electrodes so that they can precisely identify the part of the brain where the seizures originate.  The information gathered from these probes can then be used to remove or destroy the area in read more

How does the ketogenic diet work?

Posted 6 Jul 2017 in Other treatments

A ketogenic diet can help seizure control for some people with drug-resistant epilepsy, but how does it work? Researchers in China have found clues that could potentially help the development of a new epilepsy therapy. Their findings are published in the journal Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. Background  A ketogenic diet is high in fat, low in carbohydrate and ‘moderate’ in read more

What is Deep Brain Stimulation

Posted 5 Jun 2017 in Brain science; genetics / Other treatments

  Deep Brain Stimulation therapy (DBS) is one of the techniques that a lot of people are talking about, but what does it do? Is it for everyone? And how far along is the research into epilepsy ? Overview DBS is a surgical procedure (an operation).  It involves implanting an electrode into the brain and a  ‘neurostimulator’ into the chest.. read more

Cannabidiol show success in Dravet syndrome

Posted 30 May 2017 in Other treatments

Please note that Epilepsy Research UK does not endorse/promote individual epilepsy treatments or pharmaceutical companies. According to a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial*, cannabidiol (CBD) reduces seizure frequency in children with Dravet syndrome – a highly complex epilepsy disorder associated with drug-resistant seizures. The findings are published in The New England Journal of Medicine. CBD is a chemical found in the cannabis read more

Improving drug therapies through more effective targeting

New research from the University of Liverpool, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, has identified a protein that could help patients with epilepsy respond more positively to drug therapies. There is now increasing body of evidence showing that local inflammation in the brain may be important in preventing control of seizures. Inflammation refers to the process by which the read more

Computer technology increasingly important in study of epilepsy

Posted 5 May 2017 in Brain science; genetics / Other treatments

Two recently published studies show just how important the use of computer technology and modelling have become in the study of epilepsy. A study being carried out at Newcastle University is using a brain model to explore the cause of different epileptic seizure onset patterns. According to the study, at the onset of an epileptic seizure, differing characteristics of brain read more

Research in US shows that cannabis compound may halve seizures for patients with severe epilepsy

Posted 19 Apr 2017 in Other treatments

Researchers from the Ohio State University have found that individuals with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) who took cannabidiol every day for 14 weeks saw the frequency of atonic seizures fall by more than 50 percent. LGS is one of the most severe forms of epilepsy. The condition involves multiple types of seizures, including tonic, atonic, atypical absence, and myoclonic. Atonic seizures, read more

Posterior Cortex Epilepsy Surgery More Likely to Lead to Seizure Freedom When Performed Early

Posted 25 Jan 2017 in Other treatments

Surgery performed in an area of the brain called the posterior cortex is highly effective in controlling seizures and in leading to the discontinuation of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in children and adolescents with epilepsy, according to a study published in the scientific journal Epilepsia. Interestingly, the sooner surgery is performed after the diagnosis of epilepsy, the more likely it is read more

Guidelines Comparing Assessment Techniques Prior to Epilepsy Surgery Published

Posted 20 Jan 2017 in Other treatments

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) has published new guidelines on mapping of the brain prior to epilepsy surgery, following a systematic review of available evidence. The guidelines were published in the academy’s journal Neurology and compared results of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a type of scan that assesses brain activity by measuring blood flow, with data obtained from read more

People with Drug Resistant Nonlesional Neocortical Epilepsy Could Benefit from Brain Surgery

Posted 10 Jan 2017 in Other treatments

People with nonlesional neocortical epilepsy could benefit from brain surgery and become seizure-free in the long term according to a study published in the scientific journal JAMA Neurology. Dr Dong Wook Kim and colleagues explored factors that might help select people with nonlesional neocortical epilepsy who are most likely to benefit from surgery. The researchers analysed data from 109 people, aged read more

Cannabidiol May Reduce the Frequency and Severity of Epileptic Seizures

Posted 12 Dec 2016 in Other treatments

Please note that Epilepsy Research UK does not endorse/promote individual epilepsy treatments or pharmaceutical companies. Treatment with cannabidiol (CBD) improves the frequency and severity of seizures in children and adults with epilepsy, according to research presented at the American Epilepsy Society annual meeting in Huston, Texas. The findings are based on an open label,* expanded access clinical trial to test the read more

Modifying AEDs Used by Patients During Vagal Nerve Stimulation Does Not Improve Outcome

Posted 28 Nov 2016 in Other treatments

Changing people’s antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) during vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) does not seem to improve their outcomes, according to a study published in the journal Acta Neurochirurgica. On the basis of this finding, the authors suggest that keeping the same AEDs following the implantation of a VNS device may help optimise its parameters and could improve its effectiveness. In order to read more

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