News

Below are the most recent news stories about epilepsy from Epilepsy Research UK and from around the world. You can choose different categories from the side bar on the left (for details of grants made prior to 2012, please visit our research portfolio). You can also catch up with Epilepsy Research UK's fundraising and research news in our supporter newsletters.

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Two specific proteins play a key role in regulating the brain’s activity

Epilepsy is characterised by seizures caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Mapping the patterns of neuronal activity in the brain and understanding the dynamic between nerve cells could lead to better treatments for epilepsy. Researchers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, working with a team of international scientists investigated how brain proteins interact to regulate the electrical read more

Using brain tissue to test the impact of treatments on epilepsy and other neurological conditions

Professor Jurgen Knoblich, a molecular biologist at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna is confident that the way to cost effectively test drugs for incurable neurological conditions is to use human brain tissue. To date most new drugs are initially tested on animal models and although the animals are specifically bred to show read more

Would you like to help further research into epilepsy?

Interested in taking part in epilepsy research? Then look no further. Professor Henry Houlden, from University College London, is looking for volunteers to take part in his research.  He aims to recruit as many people with epilepsy as possible who are willing to give a blood sample so that their genome can be sequenced.  This will help to identify any read more

Protein increases number of inhibitory synapses in the brain and reduces seizures

Researchers at Brandeis University have used a protein called Semaphorin 4D (Sema4D) to increase the number of inhibitory synapses in the brain and by so doing have dampened down the hyperexcitability of neurons responsible for epileptic seizures. Using an animal model, this has effectively reduced the severity of the seizures experienced. “Our idea is simple and has high impact potential,” read more

Structure of brain receptor implicated in epilepsy has been made clear for the first time

A receptor in the brain for a chemical messenger, called GABA, has long been implicated in various disorders such as epilepsy. Now, for the first time researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Centre in Dallas, have been able to get a clear image of its structure.  “The implications are far-reaching for understanding mechanisms of drug binding and designing new drugs for 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

Building on Success: Announcing our 2018-19 Grant Round

Posted 19 Jul 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

Epilepsy Research UK is thrilled to announce that we will be accepting applications for our 2018/19 grant round from Monday 23rd July 2018. We are inviting high quality applications to support research into the causes, treatment, prevention, co-morbidities, and psychological aspects of epilepsy. The past year has been a huge success for Epilepsy Research UK as in 2018, we awarded over £1 read more

ERUK helps to launch Evidence Week at Parliament

Posted 16 Jul 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

On 25th June, Epilepsy Research UK was invited to speak at the launch of Evidence Week in the Churchill Room at the House of Commons. Evidence Week, run by the organisation Sense About Science, aimed to convince politicians to make good use of evidence and expertise to help shape regulations and policies. The launch was attended by MPs, peers, and read more

Meet a Researcher – Exeter & Birmingham

Posted 10 Jul 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

We are delighted to be hosting our next regional ‘Meet a Researcher’ events in September 2018. Save the date and join us in: Exeter, 12 September,  6.30-8.30pm Taking place at the Living Systems Institute at the University of Exeter, we’ll have four 10 minute talks and hear from funded ERUK researchers, along with information from a support group. Refreshments at read more

A ‘baby whale’ may help to further our understanding of epilepsy

Researchers from the University of Texas believe that what they have learnt from a ‘baby whale’ which uses electrical pulses to navigate around its world may help humans in the future by shedding light on how those same electrical pathways operate in conditions such as epilepsy.  Their findings have the potential to further our understanding of the role of potassium 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

What is consciousness? Epilepsy patients being assessed for surgery bring us a step closer to understanding

Epilepsy patients being assessed for possible surgery have electrodes implanted in the brain in order to try to locate the precise area of the brain responsible for causing their seizures.  This provided an opportunity for researchers to discover more about ‘consciousness’.  Using the implanted electrodes, scientists were able to monitor the activity of individual neurons in the brain giving us read more

Everest Base Camp trek for epilepsy research

Posted 21 Jun 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

In September, committed ERUK supporter Nathan Liptrot will embark on a 17-day trek to Everest Base Camp and is raising funds for Epilepsy Research UK. Here, Nathan tells is about his reasons for choosing Epilepsy Research UK and the details of his forthcoming challenge; “The idea of the challenge started almost 2 years ago when I saw an advert on 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

Does epilepsy surgery offer long term benefits?

Although epilepsy surgery has been used to treat epilepsy that does not respond to medication for many years now, little is known about its long term success. Now researchers in the UK have looked at the improvement rates long term. Antiepileptic medication helps approximately 70% of people diagnosed with epilepsy but ‘hard to treat’ or intractable epilepsy affects the remaining read more

Brain activity responsible for absence seizures identified

An international team of researchers led by Professor Crunelli at Cardiff University have identified the brain activity that results in absence seizures. Absence epilepsy is the most common form of epilepsy in children and teenagers and causes periods of little or no awareness and can be mistaken for what looks like ‘daydreaming’ to the casual observer, but which is in read more

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