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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Infantile Spasms are Being Diagnosed Late

Posted 8 Dec 2016 in Epilepsy in children

There is a substantial delay in diagnosing and treating infantile spasms in children with epilepsy, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society, in Huston, Texas. This may be due to lack of awareness of infantile spasms amongst healthcare professionals, and it could have “catastrophic“ consequences. According to the researchers, “There is a desperate read more

Siblings of Children with Epilepsy Experience both Positive and Negative Feelings

Posted 7 Dec 2016 in Living with epilepsy

Having a sibling with epilepsy affects children both positively and negatively, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Epilepsy in Huston, Texas. In a press release, Study Lead Dr Barbara Kroner, at RTI International, said: “We found very few disapproving feelings among siblings toward their brothers and sisters with epilepsy. The negative feelings read more

New Study May help Determine Who Could and Who Shouldn’t Drive with Epilepsy

Posted 6 Dec 2016 in Living with epilepsy

The results of a new study, presented at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society, in Houston, Texas, could help predict which individuals with epilepsy should not be driving and which ones could be driving safely. Study Lead Dr Hal Blumenfeld, at Yale University, commented: “We want to unearth more detail, to learn if there are people with epilepsy who read more

Reducing Calorie Intake May Reduce Epileptic Seizures

Posted 5 Dec 2016 in Brain science; genetics

Reducing calorie intake could reduce seizures and be beneficial for people with epilepsy, according to a study published in the leading scientific journal, Neuron. It has been known for several years that fasting can offer health benefits and expand life span, but scientists at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, in the US, together with colleagues from Canada, offer for the read more

Genetic Changes that Cause Loss of a Certain Type of Memory Can Also Protect Against Epilepsy

Posted 2 Dec 2016 in Brain science; genetics

A new biological mechanism that damages only a specific type of memory can provide protection against epilepsy according to a study published in the scientific journal Cerebral Cortex. The biological pathway involves a genetic modification in a protein called eEF2K, which regulates the expression of other proteins. According to the authors, the eEF2K protein could be a potential new target read more

Children With Congenital Heart Disease Have a Higher Risk of Epilepsy

Posted 29 Nov 2016 in Conditions related to epilepsy

The risk of epilepsy is higher in children with congenital heart disease (CHD) compared with the general population, even if the condition is mild and does not require surgical intervention, according to a study published in the scientific journal, Circulation. This finding suggests that epilepsy in children with CHD may be a consequence of  ‘non-surgical’ factors, such as an insufficient supply of oxygen to the brain during read more

Modifying AEDs Used by Patients During Vagal Nerve Stimulation Does Not Improve Outcome

Posted 28 Nov 2016 in Other treatments

Changing people’s antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) during vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) does not seem to improve their outcomes, according to a study published in the journal Acta Neurochirurgica. On the basis of this finding, the authors suggest that keeping the same AEDs following the implantation of a VNS device may help optimise its parameters and could improve its effectiveness. In order to read more

Children with Epilepsy on the Ketogenic Diet Should Have their Blood Selenium Levels Closely Monitored

Posted 25 Nov 2016 in Epilepsy in children / Other treatments

An olive oil-based ketogenic-diet leads to a decline in selenium levels in children with drug-resistant epilepsy, according to a study published in the journal of Biological Trace Elements Research. Previous research has shown that low amount of selenium, an element found in trace amounts in the blood that, may increase the risk of seizures. Therefore the levels of selenium in read more

Impression Management Tactics May Positively Influence the Outcome of Job Interviews for People with Epilepsy

Posted 24 Nov 2016 in Living with epilepsy

Impression management (IM) tactics, such as personal storytelling and self-promotion can have significant and positive effects on the outcome of job interviews for people with epilepsy, according to a study published in the scientific journal Epilepsia. IM tactics could therefore be used as a “powerful strategy for empowering people with epilepsy to combat disability stigma, and offset negative perceptions of read more

Electronic Diary May Improve Adherence to AEDs in Women with Epilepsy Who Are Planning Pregnancy

A study published in the scientific journal, Epilepsia, shows that electronic diaries may help women with epilepsy who are planning a pregnancy adhere to treatment schedules. The results of the study, conducted at New York University Langone Epilepsy Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, suggest that electronic diaries could be useful in clinical settings to enhance patient read more

New Imaging Method Could Help Predict Which Patients Will Benefit From Surgery

Posted 22 Nov 2016 in Brain science; genetics

A new imaging method could help predict which patients are likely to be free of seizures and which ones are likely to experience recurring seizures following brain surgery, according to a study published in the scientific journal Brain. The authors state that there is very little information that can help predict the outcome of surgery in epilepsy, and that this read more

Children Whose Mothers Have Rheumatoid Arthritis Are at a Higher Risk of Developing Childhood Epilepsy

Posted 21 Nov 2016 in Conditions related to epilepsy

Children whose mothers have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) – an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the joints – have an increased risk of developing childhood epilepsy, according to a study published in the scientific journal Neurology. The risk is not increased if it is the child’s father who has RA, which suggests that it may be changes in the environment inside the uterus that play read more

Electrical Brain Stimulation to Treat Drug Resistant Epilepsy in Children

Posted 21 Nov 2016 in Other treatments

The findings of a small study, led by researchers at King’s College London, suggest that electrical stimulation of the brain may be a safe and effective treatment for children with drug-resistant epilepsy, although further research is required. The work is published in the European Journal of Paediatric Neurology. Limited information exists about the effects of brain stimulation in children and, read more

Epilepsy Surgery May Lead to Decline in word-finding as well as Memory

Posted 20 Nov 2016 in Conditions related to epilepsy

People who undergo epilepsy surgery should be counselled about a potential decline in their word-finding ability, according to a study published in the scientific journal, Neurology. Before a person undergoes left temporal lobe surgery for drug-resistant epilepsy, their doctor will discuss with them the risk of subsequent memory problems. However, not much attention has been given to the effects of surgery on word-finding (also read more

New Approach Could Treat Infantile Spams More Effectively

Posted 17 Nov 2016 in Epilepsy in children

Hormonal therapy combined with the antiepileptic drug vigabatrin is more effective in preventing infantile spasms (seen in West Syndrome) than hormonal therapy alone, according to a study published in The Lancet Neurology. This conclusion is based on the results of a randomised clinical trial that was conducted at 102 different hospitals in five different countries, including the UK. The trial compared the efficacy of hormonal therapy read more

Scientists Identify New Mutation Causing Progressive Myoclonus Epilepsy

Posted 15 Nov 2016 in Epilepsy in children

A team of international researchers have identified a new mutation in a gene called KCTD7, which causes progressive myoclonus epilepsy (PME). This discovery has important implications for genetic testing, and it may also lead to the design of new therapies for PME and other related conditions. PME is a group of conditions characterized by muscle jerks, seizures, lack of voluntary muscle coordination and read more

New Method Could Pinpoint More Accurately Where Seizures Arise

Posted 11 Nov 2016 in Brain science; genetics

Researchers in the US and China have developed a new brain implant that can monitor the activity of individual brain cells at a much higher resolution than was previously possible. Their work is published in the leading scientific journal, Science Advances According to Senior Author Dr György Buzsáki, at New York University, the implant could help recognise pathological activities in the read more

New Antiepileptic Drug Candidate Discovered

Posted 8 Nov 2016 in Other treatments

Please note that Epilepsy Research UK does not endorse/promote individual epilepsy treatments or pharmaceutical companies. Researchers at Elli Lilly and Co., in Indiana, have discovered a new compound that specifically targets neural circuits involved in epilepsy and could potentially be developed into an antiepileptic drug (AED). The findings are published in the leading scientific journal, Nature Medicine. The compound, known as CERC-611, selectively blocks read more

Taking Antidepressants in Pregnancy May Increase Child’s Risk of Epilepsy

According to a study published in the journal Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, children exposed to antidepressants in the womb have an increased risk of being diagnosed with epilepsy later on if their mothers are also diagnosed with depression during pregnancy*. A child’s risk of epilepsy also appears to increase if its mother takes antidepressants 2-6 months before, but not during, pregnancy. Interestingly, the findings suggest that if read more

The Behaviour of Children with Epilepsy Could Predict Their Risk of Severe Psychiatric Conditions

Posted 3 Nov 2016 in Epilepsy in children

The behaviour of children with epilepsy could help identify those at a greater risk of severe psychiatric conditions, according to a study published in the journal, Epilepsia. This finding is important, because it means that children who are identified in this way can be given the necessary care and treatment so that chronic mental health problems (which may negatively influence quality of life and increase the risk of suicide) are not read more

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