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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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Exposure to AEDs in the Womb Does Not Increase the Frequency of GP Visits

Children whose mothers used antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) while pregnant are not more likely to visit their GP during their childhood, according to a population-based study by Danish scientists. It is important to note that the study only analyzed the frequency of primary healthcare visits and did not take into account complications such as malformations at birth and neurological and psychiatric read more

Novel Candidate Gene Linked to Myoclonic Epilepsy Identified

Posted 23 Feb 2017 in Brain science; genetics

An international team of researchers identified a new candidate gene linked to myoclonic epilepsy in people while examining dogs with generalised myoclonic epilepsy syndrome. The findings were published in the leading scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).  This discovery might not only help doctors better diagnose myoclonic epilepsy but could also lead to the development of read more

New Scoring Method Could Eliminate Unnecessary Distress to Children with “Staring Spells”

Posted 22 Feb 2017 in Epilepsy in children

Researchers in the U.S. developed a new scoring system that can help doctors prioritise which patients should receive long-term video-EEG monitoring to evaluate whether staring spells are epileptic seizures. Staring spells are episodes where children appear to stare into space and do not respond if spoken to or touched. These spells are the main symptom in patients with absence seizures read more

Some Forms of Epilepsy Could Be Autoimmune in Nature, Suggests Study Linking Parasitic Infection and Nodding Syndrome

Posted 17 Feb 2017 in Conditions related to epilepsy

Some forms of epilepsy such as nodding syndrome, could be autoimmune in nature according to a study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. “The findings … suggest that therapies targeting the immune system may be effective treatments against this disorder and possibly other forms of epilepsy,” said the senior author of the study Dr Avindra Nath who is also read more

Sub-type of Brain Cell Linked to Brains Tumours and Epilepsy

Posted 16 Feb 2017 in Brain science; genetics

The formation of a specific type of brain cell during the progression of brain tumours is also linked to the development of epileptic seizures, according to a study conducted on mice and published in the leading scientific journal Nature Neuroscience.  This knowledge can help scientists better understand how brain tumours cause epilepsy and potentially help them develop new approaches that read more

Potential New Target to Treat Epilepsy Identified

Posted 15 Feb 2017 in Brain science; genetics

  A new study published in the leading scientific journal PNAS may shed light onto why people with the same type of epilepsy-causing mutation may have symptoms that vary so dramatically in severity. Previous research has shown that mutations in a gene called SCN2A, which encodes for sodium channels found on the surface of cells, are the most common cause read more

Side and Site of Brain Surgery Affects Psychological Outcome

Posted 8 Feb 2017 in Conditions related to epilepsy

The side and site of epilepsy surgery affects its psychological outcome according to a new study published in the journal Epilepsy and Behavior. This finding highlights the importance of considering psychological changes that may occur as a result of epilepsy surgery, on an individual patient basis. According to the authors, further studies are needed to identify potential risk factors that read more

Children and Young People with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy More Likely to Have Mental Health Problems

Posted 7 Feb 2017 in Conditions related to epilepsy

Young people with temporal lobe epilepsy are more likely to have mental health conditions than those with other types of epilepsy, a new study published in the scientific journal Epilepsy and Behavior suggests. According to the authors Dr William Schraegle and Dr Jeffrey Titus, these findings reinforce the relationship between depression and temporal lobe epilepsy. In order to determine whether read more

Upcoming Event in Glasgow: Rare Disease Day

Posted 6 Feb 2017 in Uncategorized

This event is the first of its kind in Glasgow, held at the University of Glasgow, on the 28th February 2017. The day has a neurological / genetics theme with a number of local speakers with a specialism in epilepsy. The event is open to the public and is free to attend but registration is essential.  Policy makers, researchers, clinicians, charities or anyone with an interest in the area are also welcome. read more

Re-interpreting results of “controversial” EEGs may be Useful, Study Finds

Posted 3 Feb 2017 in Uncategorized

Re-interpreting the results of “controversial” electroencephalogram (EEG) results leads to a different opinion in more than half of the cases, according to a new study published in the journal Clinical Neurophysiology. The study also found that re-interpreting existing EEG results is less time consuming and more cost effective than obtaining a new EEG. The diagnosis of epilepsy often relies on read more

Different Mutations in the Same Gene Can Result in Epilepsy or Autism

Posted 2 Feb 2017 in Brain science; genetics

Mutations in a gene called SCN2A can cause either infantile epilepsy or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to a new study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry. SCN2A is responsible for making a protein called NaV1.2 in the brain. NaV1.2 determines the electrical properties of neurons and their ability to communicate with each other, especially during early brain development. Mutations read more

Sleep and Memory Consolidation in Children with Focal Epilepsy

Posted 27 Jan 2017 in Epilepsy in children

Researchers have shown for the first time that sleep-related memory consolidation is intact in a group of children with focal epilepsy. It is known that children with epilepsy have high rates of impairment in both cognitive function (including memory) and sleep. Therefore doctors have previously assumed that sleep-dependent memory consolidation might be compromised in children with epilepsy. Not so, apparently. read more

People with Epilepsy Using Perampanel (FycompaTM) Should Be Closely Monitored due to Increased Risk of Falls, Study Suggests

People with epilepsy taking perampanel (FycompaTM) should be counselled and monitored against the risk of falls according to a study published in the journal Epilepsia. The recommendation is based on the finding of three Phase 3 clinical trials testing the safety and efficacy of different doses of perampanel in people with drug resistant partial seizures and one Phase 3 clinical 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

AED Adherence Could Improve Quality of Life and Sexual Functioning in Women with Epilepsy

Adhering to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) improves seizure control but can also enhance quality of life and sexual functioning in women with epilepsy, according to a study published in the journal Epilepsy and Behavior. “Healthcare providers should be aware of these additional benefits of medication adherence and use these arguments to encourage female patients to take their medication, which can eventually read more

PAR1 Involved in Regulating Anxiety-Related Behaviour

Posted 21 Jan 2017 in Conditions related to epilepsy

A major receptor found in the brain called PAR1 is involved in the regulation of anxiety-related behaviour, suggests a recent study, published in the journal Epilepsy and Behavior. The study used an animal model of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), the most common type of focal epilepsy in adults, which is often associated with psychiatric complications such as depression and anxiety. 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

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