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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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Fundraiser Simon Osborn claims to be “more mixed grill than Bear Grylls” as he gets ready to walk 184 miles of the River Thames

Epilepsy Research UK supporter and fundraiser Simon Osborn is training hard to get ready for a mammoth task.  Simon is walking the entire length of the River Thames.  The walk is a massive 184 miles.  Simon, who has epilepsy himself, is walking most of the way on his own and he expects the whole walk to take around 10 days. read more

Stress Reduction May Lower Risk of Seizures Review Article Affirms

Posted 4 Apr 2017 in Living with epilepsy

Adopting stress reduction techniques may lower the risk of epileptic seizures, according to a review article published in the scientific journal Seizure.  The relationship between stress and epileptic seizures has been studied for many years and a number of scientific studies looking at this relationship have been published. Scientists have shown that stress can, not only increase the risk of read more

Taking a “Selfie” Could Trigger Seizure-Like Activity in the Brain, Case Study Suggests

Posted 30 Mar 2017 in Living with epilepsy

Taking “selfies” may trigger seizure-like activities in the brain, suggests a case study published in the scientific journal Seizure. The authors of the study Dr Paula Brna and Elizabeth Gordon at Dalhousie University in Canada suggest that taking “selfies” may represent a new area of caution for people with photosensitive epilepsies. While conducting a routine assessment of epilepsy in young read more

Childhood-Onset Epilepsy Could Be Linked to Accelerated Brain Ageing

Posted 29 Mar 2017 in Epilepsy in children

Childhood-onset epilepsy could be associated with accelerated brain ageing, according to a new study published in JAMA Neurology. According to the authors, childhood onset epilepsy could therefore be considered a neurobiological predisposition to cognitive disorders in later life. In order to determine whether adults with a history of childhood-onset epilepsy have an increased risk of accelerated cognitive impairment in later read more

Research sheds light onto how cellular defects caused by genetic mutation may lead to epilepsy

Posted 27 Mar 2017 in Uncategorized

A new study published in the leading scientific journal Scientific Reports describes how cellular abnormalities caused by defects in a gene called GRIN2A may lead to epilepsy.  Understanding the exact mechanism of how seizures develop at the cellular level could help scientists design better treatments against them in the future. It was already known that mutations in the GRIN2A gene read more

New Set of Recommendations for Better Diagnosis and Management of Dravet Syndrome Developed

Posted 14 Mar 2017 in Epilepsy in children

A consensus panel of epilepsy specialists, experts in Dravet syndrome, and parents of children with Dravet syndrome came together to develop a set of recommendations for the better diagnosis and management of the condition.  The recommendations were published in the journal Pediatric Neurology. “We were able to identify areas where there was strong consensus that we hope will (1) inform read more

Link Between Epilepsy and Multiple Sclerosis Uncovered, Could Help Scientists Develop New Treatments for Both Conditions

Posted 13 Mar 2017 in Conditions related to epilepsy

Researchers at the University of California uncovered a potential new link between epilepsy and multiple sclerosis (MS), an auto-immune disease where the immune system attacks the myelin sheath that covers nerve fibres.  This new finding could lead to potential new treatments against epilepsy as well as MS. The study that was published in the journal Neuroscience, showed that people with read more

Classification of Epilepsies Updated

Posted 9 Mar 2017 in Uncategorized

The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) recently updated the system used to classify different types of epilepsy. It is hoped that the new system will pave the way to better research, diagnosis, and treatments in epilepsy. In a press release, Professor Ingrid Scheffer, a paediatric nephrologist and professor at The University of Melbourne said: “The new classification will help clinicians read more

Brain Connectivity Different in People with Epilepsy

Posted 8 Mar 2017 in Brain science; genetics

Brain connectivity in people with epilepsy and those without are different showed a study published in the journal Human Brain Mapping. According to the researchers this finding could lead to a better understanding of epilepsy and help scientists develop new therapies in the future. The team led by Professor Marina Vannucci, Noah Harding Professor and Chair of Statistics at Rice read more

Diuretic Drug Could Offer Promise in Treating Epilepsy in Future

Posted 2 Mar 2017 in Anti-epileptic drugs

Researchers at the University of Helsinki showed that a change in the function of GABA, the main neurotransmitter in the brain, can cause the formation of incorrect connections between brain cells. These connections may cause epileptic seizures that are difficult to control with drugs. “After a prolonged convulsive seizure, instead of the usual inhibitory effect of the transmitter, GABA accelerates read more

Novel Compound Shows Promising Antiepileptic Effects

Posted 1 Mar 2017 in Anti-epileptic drugs

A new small molecule that can be taken orally, called ADX71149, could have antiepileptic effects on its own or when used in combination with the widely available anti-seizure drug levetiracetam according to experiments conducted in a mouse model of epilepsy, the results of which were published in the scientific journal Epilepsia. Robert Lütjens, Head of Discovery of Addex Therapeutics that co-developed read more

Exposure to AEDs in the Womb Does Not Increase the Frequency of GP Visits

Children whose mothers used antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) while pregnant are not more likely to visit their GP during their childhood, according to a population-based study by Danish scientists. It is important to note that the study only analyzed the frequency of primary healthcare visits and did not take into account complications such as malformations at birth and neurological and psychiatric read more

Novel Candidate Gene Linked to Myoclonic Epilepsy Identified

Posted 23 Feb 2017 in Brain science; genetics

An international team of researchers identified a new candidate gene linked to myoclonic epilepsy in people while examining dogs with generalised myoclonic epilepsy syndrome. The findings were published in the leading scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).  This discovery might not only help doctors better diagnose myoclonic epilepsy but could also lead to the development of read more

New Scoring Method Could Eliminate Unnecessary Distress to Children with “Staring Spells”

Posted 22 Feb 2017 in Epilepsy in children

Researchers in the U.S. developed a new scoring system that can help doctors prioritise which patients should receive long-term video-EEG monitoring to evaluate whether staring spells are epileptic seizures. Staring spells are episodes where children appear to stare into space and do not respond if spoken to or touched. These spells are the main symptom in patients with absence seizures read more

Some Forms of Epilepsy Could Be Autoimmune in Nature, Suggests Study Linking Parasitic Infection and Nodding Syndrome

Posted 17 Feb 2017 in Conditions related to epilepsy

Some forms of epilepsy such as nodding syndrome, could be autoimmune in nature according to a study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. “The findings … suggest that therapies targeting the immune system may be effective treatments against this disorder and possibly other forms of epilepsy,” said the senior author of the study Dr Avindra Nath who is also read more

Sub-type of Brain Cell Linked to Brains Tumours and Epilepsy

Posted 16 Feb 2017 in Brain science; genetics

The formation of a specific type of brain cell during the progression of brain tumours is also linked to the development of epileptic seizures, according to a study conducted on mice and published in the leading scientific journal Nature Neuroscience.  This knowledge can help scientists better understand how brain tumours cause epilepsy and potentially help them develop new approaches that read more

Potential New Target to Treat Epilepsy Identified

Posted 15 Feb 2017 in Brain science; genetics

  A new study published in the leading scientific journal PNAS may shed light onto why people with the same type of epilepsy-causing mutation may have symptoms that vary so dramatically in severity. Previous research has shown that mutations in a gene called SCN2A, which encodes for sodium channels found on the surface of cells, are the most common cause read more

Side and Site of Brain Surgery Affects Psychological Outcome

Posted 8 Feb 2017 in Conditions related to epilepsy

The side and site of epilepsy surgery affects its psychological outcome according to a new study published in the journal Epilepsy and Behavior. This finding highlights the importance of considering psychological changes that may occur as a result of epilepsy surgery, on an individual patient basis. According to the authors, further studies are needed to identify potential risk factors that read more

Children and Young People with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy More Likely to Have Mental Health Problems

Posted 7 Feb 2017 in Conditions related to epilepsy

Young people with temporal lobe epilepsy are more likely to have mental health conditions than those with other types of epilepsy, a new study published in the scientific journal Epilepsy and Behavior suggests. According to the authors Dr William Schraegle and Dr Jeffrey Titus, these findings reinforce the relationship between depression and temporal lobe epilepsy. In order to determine whether read more

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