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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New Method to look at Synapses in the Living Human Brain

Posted 23 Jul 2016 in Brain science; genetics

Researchers at Yale University have developed a new, non-invasive method to examine synapses – the points of communication between neurons. The work is published in the leading journal Science Translational Medicine. In the future, this novel technique could improve the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy, and of other neurological conditions. In a press release, Dr Richard Carson, Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging read more

People with Epilepsy are more likely to be Smokers, Study Suggests

Posted 20 Jul 2016 in Living with epilepsy

There is a strong correlation between epilepsy and smoking according to a study of people living in French-speaking Switzerland. Although it has yet to be established whether or not epilepsy actually causes smoking, there appears to be a genetic link between susceptibility to epilepsy and to nicotine addiction. There is also a more indirect association, as people find benefit in smoking read more

New evidence that Nighttime Seizures Disrupt Memory Consolidation

Posted 19 Jul 2016 in Living with epilepsy

Nighttime seizures disrupt sleep-dependent memory consolidation, according to a pilot study published in the journal Clinical Neurophysiology. This finding is important, because it will help scientists to better understand the effect of seizures on memory consolidation, and the factors that may influence this. There is currently only limited data in adults, and some conflicting data in children, regarding sleep dependent read more

New Project Could Help reduce Memory Loss Following paediatric epilepsy Surgery

Posted 18 Jul 2016 in Brain science; genetics

The US National Institute of Health (NIH) has awarded Dr Noa Ofen and colleagues, at Wayne State University in Detroit, $1.9 million (almost £1.5 million), over five years, to examine the formation of memory networks in the developing brain. Dr Ofen hopes her findings will be applied to paediatric epilepsy surgery, to help predict and reduce the risk of subsequent memory problems. read more

Children with Epilepsy should be monitored early for ADHD

Posted 15 Jul 2016 in Living with epilepsy

Children with epilepsy and febrile seizures have a higher risk of developing attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a new study published in the scientific journal Pediatrics. This finding suggests that the parents of children with epilepsy or febrile seizures should be told to be vigilant about ADHD symptoms and pay close attention to academic performance, a factor easily read more

Measures should be put in place to Prevent Suicide in people with epilepsy

Posted 14 Jul 2016 in Living with epilepsy

Suicide rates are higher in people with epilepsy compared to the general population, according to results published in the journal Epilepsy and Behaviour. Suicide prevention measures should therefore be put in place to prevent such deaths. Rosemarie Kobau, one of the authors of the study, commented: “Caregivers of people with epilepsy and other members of the public can participate in read more

British 10K – Congratulations Team ERUK!

Posted 13 Jul 2016 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

The British 10K London Run took place on Sunday 10th July 2016 and what an incredible day for Epilepsy Research UK. The day began early, but the start line didn’t stay empty for long! Thousands of runners were soon lining up to run the streets of London, including several hundred who were flying the flag for Epilepsy Research UK.   We were thrilled read more

Efficient Sleep Could Increase the Quality of Life of Children with Epilepsy

Posted 12 Jul 2016 in Epilepsy in children

Children with epilepsy are more likely to experience sleep problems, resulting in a poorer quality of life, according to a study published in the scientific journal Seizure. The authors, based at the Mersin University School of Medicine, in Turkey, suggest that the sleeping habits of children with epilepsy should be assessed during clinic visits, because efficient sleep is associated with read more

Levetiracetam Ideal Add-on Therapy for Refractory Epilepsy in Children, Study Suggests

Posted 11 Jul 2016 in Epilepsy in children

A study published in the journal European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences suggests that levetiracetam add-on therapy is effective and has few side effects in children with refractory (drug-resistant) epilepsy. According to the authors, the drug can control and reduce seizures and is ideal for the treatment of refractory epilepsy in children. A total of 65 children aged between read more

Examining the Factors That influence antiepileptic drug adherence

A large-scale study, published in the scientific journal Neurology, suggests that giving better-tolerated antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), in simpler dosing regimens, can improve adherence amongst patients. Adherence is a measure of whether patients take their drugs as prescribed. It can be calculated using a ‘medical possession ratio’, which is the percentage of time a patient has access to medication. During the read more

New Technique Could Increase the Success Rate of Epilepsy Surgery

Posted 7 Jul 2016 in Other treatments

Researchers at the University of Exeter have developed an advanced computer model that can identify where in the brain epileptic seizures originate. It can also distinguish, with high accuracy, between the source of a person’s seizures and brain regions that become involved as a result of the seizure starting. This technique could help epilepsy surgeons to identify more accurately the region(s) of read more

More evidence that Antiepileptic Drugs Are linked to Vitamin D Deficiency in children

Long-term use of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) is associated with vitamin D deficiency, even in sub-tropical countries, according to a study at the University of Malaya, in Malaysia. During the study, which is published in the scientific journal Epilepsia, the researchers recruited 244 children with epilepsy, aged between three and 19 years, from three different Malaysian hospitals. All had been taking AEDs read more

Important new insights into the effects of exercise on people with epilepsy

Posted 5 Jul 2016 in Living with epilepsy

According to a study at the University of Roehampton, exercise can have a beneficial effect upon the psychological, sociological and physical wellbeing of people with epilepsy. The research also provides information about the barriers to exercising faced by some people with epilepsy, and the different ways in which people manage the impact of uncontrolled seizures on their exercise routines. The read more

Structured discussions about SUDEP risk could help to save lives

Posted 1 Jul 2016 in Living with epilepsy

New research, published in the Journal of Neurology, suggests that most risk factors associated with sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) are modifiable, and that structured, person-centred discussions between doctors and patients could help to save lives. During the study, a team of researchers analysed data collected over nine continuous years, between 2004 and 2012, in Cornwall. They uncovered 93 read more

Epileptic Seizures Cause Immune Response in the Eyes

Posted 1 Jul 2016 in Brain science; genetics

Epileptic seizures induce an immune response as far away from the brain as the eyes, according to a new study published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation. This suggests that measuring the immune response in the eyes could potentially be a new, non-invasive, way of detecting brain inflammation. It could also help our understanding of the relationship between inflammation and the generation read more

Results of Epidiolex Trial in Lennox-Gastaut syndrome Announced

Posted 28 Jun 2016 in Epilepsy in children

Disclaimer: Epilepsy Research UK is completely neutral and is not affiliated with any pharmaceutical company, or any particular drug compound. GW Pharmaceuticals has announced positive results from a pivotal phase three clinical trial of Epidiolex (cannabidiol or CBD) in the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), a rare form of childhood epilepsy. The announcement comes days after the company revealed plans to test the same read more

Epidiolex to be trialled in West Syndrome

Posted 27 Jun 2016 in Epilepsy in children

Disclaimer: Epilepsy Research UK is completely neutral and is not affiliated with any pharmaceutical company, or any particular drug compound. GW Pharmaceuticals has announced that its investigational cannabinoid, Epidiolex (cannabidiol or CBD), will be trialled in children with infantile spasms, also known as West syndrome. Epidiolex has received orphan drug designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of read more

Surgery the best way to prevent relapse of infantile spasms

Posted 27 Jun 2016 in Epilepsy in children

According to a recent study, published in the scientific journal Epilepsia, neither zonisamide nor topiramate prevent the relapse of infantile spams, even when taken at relatively high doses. The study findings also imply that surgery is the only way to prevent the relapse of infantile spasms (in those who are eligible for it). The team of researchers, based at the University read more

American Epilepsy Society announces investment in junior researchers

Posted 23 Jun 2016 in Uncategorized

The American Epilepsy Society (AES) has announced its commitment to support 19 new fellowships and research grants, specifically for early career researchers. This comes at a time when funding at this level is notoriously scarce. In collaboration with other members of the epilepsy community, including the Epilepsy Foundation, Wishes for Elliott: Advancing SCN8A Research and the Dravet Syndrome Foundation, the AES has read more

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