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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Alzheimer’s disease and antiepileptic medication

According to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland there is an increased risk of stroke among people with Alzheimer’s who are being treated with antiepileptic drugs.  The incidence of an epilepsy diagnosis is highest in those who are young or in those aged over 65.  Part of the reason for this increase in the older population is read more

Brain surgery: predicting patient outcomes

Artificial Intelligence is increasingly being used to make real inroads in the medical field.  Now neurologists from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) have used artificial intelligence to develop a technique which may eventually help both patients and doctors weigh up the pros and cons of using brain surgery to treat debilitating seizures caused by epilepsy. Although the number read more

Personal experience and scientific evidence – what does it feel like to have a seizure?

What does it feel like to have a seizure? Whilst neurologists will say that a seizure is caused by an over-excitation of neuronal activity in the brain, some people describe their experience as an ‘earthquake, starting slow and growing’. Now, studies at Jefferson (Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University), have shown that some types of seizure paradoxically begin with a read more

Brain tumours and epilepsy in children

Compared with the effects of brain tumours in adults, brain tumours in children cause additional problems and complications. One issue is that they can lead to intractable epilepsy. However the genetic cause of this hard-to-treat epilepsy in paediatric brain tumours is not yet fully understood and nor can it be effectively treated with existing epileptic drugs. Now a Korean research read more

Sleep disorders and epilepsy

Sleep disorders in people with epilepsy can exacerbate their symptoms and often remains undiagnosed. Now researchers from Rutgers University have developed a tool to help neurologists identify people with obstructive sleep apnoea whose epilepsy may be magnified by their sleep disorder.  Identifying sleep disorders and treating them can help in seizure control in some people.  At the moment specialists have read more

Climbing Kilimanjaro for research

Posted 1 Oct 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

Chris Scoffield has just returned from scaling Mount Kilimanjaro with his brother-in-law Nathan Conduit. Kilimanjaro is one of the toughest treks in the world and the tallest free standing mountain on the planet standing at 5895m. Chris tells us about his exciting adventure below. “I have just returned from trekking up mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for Epilepsy Research UK and read more

Paediatric epilepsy care

In the early 2000s paediatric neurologists and the British Paediatric Neurology Association (BPNA) realised that there were shortcomings in the standard of care in the treatment of children with epilepsy.  It was clear that many children with epilepsy in the UK were treated by paediatricians with no specialised training in epilepsy.   And appalling as this finding was, it was read more

Can we predict who will develop epilepsy following brain trauma?

Posted 25 Sep 2018 in Epilepsy and its causes / Epilepsy general

  Is it possible to predict those people who will develop epilepsy following brain trauma? Acquired epilepsy does not occur immediately after brain injury. Visible symptoms can occur months, or even years after the traumatic event, according to Professor Gluckman, professor of engineering science and mechanics, neurosurgery and biomedical engineering and associate director, Penn State Centre for Neural Engineering. In read more

Is there a way to determine who will react badly to antiepileptic medication?

Posted 21 Sep 2018 in Anti-epileptic drugs / Living with epilepsy

A quick, easy and inexpensive test could one day help specialists determine which epilepsy patients are likely to react badly to carbamazepine. Carbamazepine is an antiepileptic drug  which is widely used as a first line treatment for epilepsy, but is also prescribed for other conditions, such as bipolar disorder and neuralgia.  However, it can also cause extreme skin conditions in read more

ERUK on tour

Posted 20 Sep 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

On Wednesday 12 September, Epilepsy Research UK visited The Living Systems Institute at The University of Exeter to host an evening together with some of our regional researchers and supporters. Professors John Terry & Adam Zeman put together a fantastic programme for us and we were keen to hear all about the research that has taken place, some of which read more

Genetic epilepsies respond to epilepsy surgery in different ways

Technological advances in recent years mean that it is now easier, and considerably cheaper, to test people with epilepsy for underlying genetic causes. As a result of this, scientists have been able to uncover new genetic abnormalities linked to epilepsy. If scientists can understand the causes of a person’s epilepsy, they may be able to provide improved epilepsy treatments. This read more

Neurostimulation may offer hope for memory enhancement in epilepsy

Posted 14 Sep 2018 in Memory / Epilepsy general / Living with epilepsy

Despite memory difficulties being a top concern for people with epilepsy, there are currently no existing treatments available to directly target memory issues that are related to epilepsy. This was what motivated researchers from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth University, in the U.S. to investigate neurostimulation. Stephen Meisenhelter and Dr Barbara Jobst reviewed 61 recent research studies on read more

Introducing you to our new Chief Executive: Maxine Smeaton

Epilepsy Research UK is delighted to announce that Maxine Smeaton has been appointed as our new Chief Executive Officer. Maxine has joined us from the Tuberous Sclerosis Association, where she was Interim CEO. She has a wealth of experience in the charity sector leading the renowned medical research charity Blond McIndoe and working in strategic development roles for both the read more

Implant in brain detects, stops and prevents seizures

Researchers led by the University of Cambridge have successfully used an implanted device in the brain to detect, stop and prevent epileptic seizures in an animal model. When the first signals of a seizure were detected, the device delivered a naturally occurring brain chemical (a neurotransmitter) which stopped the seizure from progressing. There are many different types of epileptic seizure read more

The ERUK view of the current debate around cannabis-based products as a treatment for epilepsy

Posted 5 Sep 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

The ERUK view of the current debate around cannabis-based products as a treatment for epilepsy can be found below. To summarise the statement, whilst there is evidence that medical-grade preparations of an active ingredient of cannabis, cannabidiol, can be beneficial in some types of epilepsy, cannabis oil itself cannot be considered a safe or effective treatment. This is due to read more

Success for less invasive surgery for refractory epilepsy

Posted 4 Sep 2018 in Epilepsy and brain surgery

In a first for Europe surgeons at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) have successfully treated an epilepsy patient using a high precision thermal (laser) therapy.  The treatment is only suitable for those people with refractory epilepsy where the focus of the seizure can be precisely targeted.  This technique means that surgery is much less invasive, leading to a shorter period of read more

Researchers find protein linked to the treatment of both epilepsy and bipolar disorder

A team of researchers from the Royal Holloway have found that one particular protein which was known to be implicated in both epilepsy and bipolar disorder seems to be the key linking the treatment of both disorders. Sodium valproate which is associated with an increased chance of birth defects if taken during pregnancy, is used in the treatment of both read more

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