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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Treatment for sleep apnoea may ease epileptic seizures

Posted 7 Dec 2017 in Living with epilepsy

Newly published research from America suggests that all patients with epilepsy should be checked for sleep disorders, because treatments for these conditions, could in turn help in the treatment of their epilepsy. As lead investigator Dr Thapanee Somboon, a research fellow at the Cleveland Clinic’s sleep disorders centre pointed out, “many people with epilepsy don’t realise they have sleep apnoea. read more

Join Team ERUK in the Brighton Marathon!

Posted 6 Dec 2017 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

Epilepsy Research UK have guaranteed entry available in the Brighton Marathon on Sunday 15th April 2018. Will you join us and be part of Team ERUK? Now the UK’s second largest marathon, and  firm favourite in the calendar, don’t miss out on your chance to be involved.  The race route takes in the best of the City Centre, including the read more

Sleep deprivation has major impact on brain

Posted 13 Nov 2017 in Living with epilepsy

New research carried out at UCLA and Tel Aviv University shows that a lack of sleep has a major impact on how the brain functions.  The research, published in the journal Nature Medicine, adds to a growing body of research about the impact of sleep deprivation on brain function. The researchers studied 12 people with epilepsy who had electrode implants read more

Epilepsy Research UK featured in a new report emphasising importance of charity funding of medical research

The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) has released a short evidence report on the Charity Research Support Fund (CRSF) that sets out how the Fund enables the unique contributions of charities to health and well-being and outlines AMRC’s call on Government to enhance the CRSF in real terms in line with inflation and charity investment. The report also brings read more

Basic science: fundamental to clinical progress

Posted 27 Oct 2017 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

Basic science is fundamental to the study of medicine (and, unfortunately, there is nothing basic about it). Much of the research that Epilepsy Research UK supports involves basic science. It may seem a long way from clinical practice, but it is fundamental to the development of new epilepsy therapies. ‘Basic science’ refers to the highly skilled, usually laboratory-based, research that read more

The link between CLOCK and epilepsy

Posted 16 Oct 2017 in Brain science; genetics

A Lack of a protein called ‘CLOCK’, which (unsurprisingly) helps to set our body clock, may play a role in some types of epilepsy. Within our cells are microscopic ‘clocks’ that influence a number of factors, e.g. hunger and sleepiness (see image below). They can also detect when the days are getting longer or shorter and generate seasonal changes. CLOCK read more

Jeremy Hunt’s response to valproate pregnancy risks

Posted 15 Oct 2017 in Anti-epileptic drugs / Living with epilepsy

In the lead-up to the EMA hearing on valproate, Clare Pelham, Chief Executive of Epilepsy Society, wrote to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health. She asked him to introduce mandatory annual reviews for women who take valproate-related drugs, and who could potentially become pregnant, so that they are fully informed of the risks the drugs pose to unborn babies. The read more

Priority setting in epilepsy

Posted 15 Oct 2017 in Living with epilepsy

The importance of public and patient involvement in identifying health research priorities is now more widely recognised, and research funding bodies actively seek the input of people affected by different medical conditions as equal partners. Here, we would like to update you on the work that has been done in the epilepsy field. The process In 2009-2010 a ‘master list’ read more

EMA public hearing about valproate in pregnancy

Posted 26 Sep 2017 in Living with epilepsy

26 September 2017 The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will today hold a public hearing about the risks of valproate and related drugs during pregnancy. The background to and aims of the hearing are outlined here (document downloaded from the EMA website), and you can follow the event live from 12:45 here (click ‘Public hearing’ tab). Seizure control during pregnancy is very important; however, babies read more

Exciting data about seizure spread

Posted 20 Sep 2017 in Brain science; genetics

New findings from the Universities of Twente (in the Netherlands) and Chicago have shown that even focal seizures can have ‘long-distance’ effects. Click here for a summary of the research, written by The work is published in the scientific journal, PNAS. ERUK Fellow, Dr Rob Wykes, at University College London, is looking at how brain cells behave before, during read more

Common parasite linked to epilepsy and other brain disorders

Posted 15 Sep 2017 in Brain science; genetics

Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is a very common parasite that is often associated with cats and is thought to cause very few symptoms and no serious effects in humans. However, research led by the University of Chicago has now shown that it might, in fact, play a role in the development of epilepsy and other brain disorders. The findings are published read more

Important findings for childhood absence epilepsy

Posted 14 Sep 2017 in Epilepsy in children

An experimental study of childhood absence epilepsy (CAE) suggests that brain activity is disturbed in between seizures (not just during them), and that this activity can continue despite therapy. This could potentially explain why some children with CAE experience problems with cognition (e.g. attention deficit), even though they are being successfully treated. The findings are published in the Journal of Physiology. read more

Temporal lobe epilepsy: a step closer to more effective treatments

Posted 13 Sep 2017 in Brain science; genetics

“I’m still uncontrolled. It completely changes your life. I now can no longer work and have issues getting out because of the unpredictability.” ERUK supporter experience of living with uncontrolled epilepsy. Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common form of epilepsy in adults, and it is often associated with scarring of an important memory structure called the hippocampus. This read more

Birmingham collaboration is improving childhood epilepsy care

Posted 11 Sep 2017 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

This news release describes a promising research collaboration between Aston University and Birmingham Children’s Hospital, which is making great strides for childhood epilepsy. Epilepsy Research UK Fellow, Dr Sukhvir Wright, is a key member of this team, and she has recently been interviewed about their work by Free Radio. The interview will be aired later this week; please check our read more

Heat as a seizure trigger

Posted 11 Sep 2017 in Epilepsy in children

The most common seizure trigger for children aged between 5 months and 6 years is fever. It is suspected that increased body temperature plays an important role in this, but infection and inflammation themselves could also be involved. A recent study, published in the journal Epilepsy Research, shows that in a genetic (rodent) model of Dravet syndrome, elevated body temperature alone, read more

Autoimmunity: a small but significant and treatable cause of epilepsy

Posted 7 Sep 2017 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

What is autoimmune epilepsy? The immune system is designed to protect the body from attack from outside agents such as bacteria and viruses. However, sometimes things go wrong and autoimmune disease results. In autoimmune disease, “over-excited” specialised immune cells and proteins (including antibodies), whose usual role is to defend the body against infection, instead attack the body itself. It is read more

Autoimmune epilepsy: Current research in Oxford

Posted 7 Sep 2017 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

Click here to read about autoimmune epilepsy. A number of antibodies against different cell proteins have been detected in people with epilepsy but that does not automatically mean that these antibodies cause epilepsy. There are important questions to ask: Can the antibodies cause seizures themselves or are there other factors involved? Is the appearance of antibodies in the patient’s blood read more

Using maths to detect the source of seizures

Posted 25 Aug 2017 in Brain science; genetics

Researchers in Exeter are using mathematics to identify the areas of the brain that contribute most to epileptic seizures. Their approach could significantly improve the success rate of epilepsy surgery. This work is published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology. A bit of background People who are about to have epilepsy surgery often require an invasive procedure called an intracranial EEG read more

Thank you Simon Osborn

Posted 16 Aug 2017 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

Simon Osborn is a veteran Epilepsy Research UK fundraiser. Simon started fundraising for the charity due to a friend’s child having epilepsy and then continued after he was diagnosed with epilepsy himself. This year Simon walked the whole length of the Thames. It was a tremendous effort and when I met Simon in Hammersmith towards the end of his walk read more

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