New hope for the treatment of intractable epilepsy

Posted May 7 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 in this area of the brain by administering therapy to another area in the brain not associated with the seizure activity. Using a method known as ‘chemogenetics’ they were able to focus precisely on the region of the brain affected by the epileptic seizures, leaving other areas of the brain unaffected.  This is in stark contrast to the way that current antiepileptic medication works.  Antiepileptic drugs affect more or less all  parts of the body.  The researchers hope that this will mean in the future that treatment can be administered to areas of the brain that cannot be reached directly or cannot be surgically removed.  As Merab Kokais, director of the Epilepsy Centre at Lund University says “We hope that, in the future, this knowledge will help people with this severe form of epilepsy, but also that it will benefit other patients”

 

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