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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Irritable Bowel Syndrome More Common in People With Epilepsy

Posted 26 Aug 2016 in Conditions related to epilepsy

A new study, published in the scientific journal Epilepsy and Behavior, shows that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is more common in people with epilepsy than in the ‘general’ population. The research also suggests that, although IBS itself doesn’t have a negative impact on health-related quality of life in people with epilepsy, it is associated with a greater likelihood of depression/anxiety read more

Small Device Could Detect and Stop Epileptic Seizures on the Spot

Posted 25 Aug 2016 in Other treatments

Researchers in Sweden and France have developed a tiny device that can detect epileptic seizures at the exact point in which they arise, and deliver, to that precise point, a substance that can stop them before they spread to other areas of the brain. The device, called a bioelectronic neural pixel, is 20×20 μm* in size (approximately the size of a read more

Assessing anti-epileptic drug risk in pregnancy: are new methods as reliable as traditional ones?

Posted 24 Aug 2016 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

These are the findings from an Epilepsy Research UK (ERUK) grant, which was awarded to Dr Rachel Charlton, at the University of Bath, in 2014. Background For women with epilepsy pregnancy requires very careful planning, because exposure to some anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) in the womb, valproate in particular, has been linked to an increased chance of birth defects, behavioural problems read more

The Impact of AEDs on Bone Health

Paediatric researchers from Taiwan, who compared the effects of old and new antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) on bone health, found that new AEDs may be safer and better tolerated. They note, however, that further research is needed to fully understand the effects of newer AEDs on bone health and growth. According to the scientists, whose study is published in the International Journal of read more

The Burden of Headaches in People With Epilepsy

Posted 23 Aug 2016 in Conditions related to epilepsy

The majority of people with epilepsy experience headaches, regardless of their sex or age, according to a study published in Seizure – European Journal of Epilepsy. Headaches can have an extremely negative impact on quality of life. Their high prevalence in people with epilepsy (shown here) suggests they need to be recognised and managed. The authors, based at Vilnius University, in Lithuania, read more

Epilepsy surgery in childhood does not impact on language in the long term

Posted 22 Aug 2016 in Other treatments

Language skills remain largely unchanged following epilepsy surgery in childhood, according to new research published in the scientific journal Epilepsy and Behaviour. There have been few investigations into brain function after epilepsy surgery in childhood, and these have largely focused on memory and intelligence rather than language. During the current study, researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children, in Toronto, recruited 97 children who read more

‘Sirolimus’ for seizures in tuberous sclerosis complex needs further investigation

Posted 18 Aug 2016 in Other treatments

According to a recent study, published in the journal Neurology, sirolimus* add-on treatment does not significantly reduce seizure frequency in children with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) and drug-resistant epilepsy. The authors state, however, that due the small size of the study, larger ones are needed to verify this finding. TSC is a genetic condition that causes tumours to form in different read more

Prolonged status epilepticus is linked to brain wasting

Posted 17 Aug 2016 in Brain science; genetics

Brain atrophy, or wasting, and re-organisation of neurons occur in the brains of people with super-refractory status epilepticus (SRSE), according to a study published in JAMA Neurology. The research also shows that the severity of brain atrophy is related to the duration of SRSE. This is the first study to show that brain atrophy occurs even after difficult-to-treat status epilepticus is controlled with anaesthetic drugs. read more

Another cannabidiol trial announced, in Israel

Posted 16 Aug 2016 in Other treatments

Disclaimer: Epilepsy Research UK is completely neutral and is not affiliated with any commercial company, or any particular device/product. The medical company, MMJ PhytoTech Limited, has recently announced that it will begin a new phase two clinical trial by the end of this year to test the effectiveness of its new drug compound, PTL101, in treating children with drug-resistant epilepsy. During the trial, read more

Pregnant women with epilepsy should be offered emotional support

Posted 15 Aug 2016 in Living with epilepsy

Pregnant women and new mothers with epilepsy have reduced life satisfaction, even in societies with high levels of welfare, according to a study published in the scientific journal Epilepsy & Behavior. The authors therefore suggest: “mothers with epilepsy and their partners should be examined for emotional complaints and partnership satisfaction during and after pregnancy.” The team of researchers, led by read more

An exciting advance for the study of epilepsy

Posted 11 Aug 2016 in Brain science; genetics

Researchers in Singapore have improved the production high quality, functional human inhibitory (‘GABAergic’) neurons in the laboratory, according to a study published in the leading journal Cell. These neurons can now be used to develop models to study epilepsy, as well as other neurological conditions. They can also be used to screen the effects of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) without the need to read more

Some AEDs may Induce Psychotic Disorders in a small proportion of People

Posted 9 Aug 2016 in Uncategorized

This article is for awareness and is not intended to raise alarm. Antiepileptic drugs may induce psychotic disorders in a small minority of people, according to a new study published in the leading journal Brain. The study also showed, however, that antiepileptic drug-induced psychotic disorder (AIPD) generally has a better outcome than psychotic disorders caused by other factors. The authors read more

Dystrophin Protein may be a Potential Treatment Target for Epilepsy

Posted 9 Aug 2016 in Brain science; genetics

The hippocampal form of an essential muscle protein called dystrophin is found in higher levels in people with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), according to a new study published in the scientific journal Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. This could be the result of a compensatory mechanism – in response to too much excitation in the brain (hyperexcitation) – that tries to restore the read more

Eye Movements Could be Used as a Measure of Epilepsy Progression

Posted 8 Aug 2016 in Brain science; genetics

Research published in the scientific journal PLOS One suggests that children with epilepsy have irregularities in their pattern of saccadic eye movement. This refers to the fast, jerking movement of the eyes that allows people to scan their environment and build a mental 3D image of it. According to the authors of the study, these irregularities may be indicative of abnormal read more

New Trial of Cannabidiol Gel to Treat Epilepsy

Please note that Epilepsy Research UK does not endorse/promote individual epilepsy treatments or pharmaceutical companies. Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, a US-based pharmaceutical company, has ‘dosed’ the first participant in its STAR1 clinical trial, which aims to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a cannabidiol gel called ZYN002 in adults with refractory focal epilepsy. Armando Anido, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, said in a press release: read more

Care for children with epilepsy should be mindful of accompanying disorders

Posted 5 Aug 2016 in Epilepsy in children

Almost 80% of children with epilepsy also have an accompanying disorder, known as a comorbidity, according to a new study published in the scientific journal Pediatrics. This highlights the importance of a comprehensive approach to care. The authors state: “The management should not only focus on the epileptic seizures, but should also include thorough assessments of all aspects of health, including development, psychiatric read more

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