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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Researcher links epilepsy with higher mortality rate

Posted 6 Jan 2011 in Living with epilepsy

New epilepsy research has indicated that people diagnosed with the condition face a greater risk of death from any cause. Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society, Danish neurologist Dr Jakob Christensen said the mortality rate is highest among patients diagnosed with epilepsy in the first year of life. His study was based on a large cohort read more

Epilepsy research examines impact of maternal depression

Posted 6 Jan 2011 in Epilepsy in children

A new study of epilepsy in children and maternal depression has attempted to trace the impact of the latter condition on young patients. Canadian researchers found that the prevalence of depression in mothers ranged from 30 to 38 per cent in the 24 months following their child's diagnosis with epilepsy. Depressive symptoms were found to have a negative influence on read more

Ireland to boost epilepsy treatment with expert nurses

Posted 5 Jan 2011 in Statistics; treatment in the UK

The Health Service Executive (HSE) in Ireland has announced plans to improve epilepsy treatment at local level by hiring specialist nurses. Despite the recruitment embargo currently in place across the public healthcare provider, nurses with expert knowledge of the condition will be appointed to boost services in the community for epilepsy patients, the Irish Times reports. Between eight and ten read more

Epilepsy research data ‘not good enough’

Posted 4 Jan 2011 in Statistics; treatment in the UK

A leading medical expert has said the standard of data used for epilepsy research in the US must be improved. Edwin Trevathan, dean of the St Louis University School of Public Health and a member of the Neurology editorial board, said he believes epilepsy surveillance in the country is "almost nonexistent". He made his comments as a new study published read more

PET scans useful for fever-induced epilepsy research, says study

Posted 4 Jan 2011 in Epilepsy in children

New research has indicated that positron emission tomography (PET) scans could provide useful insights for the study of fever-induced refractory epileptic encephalopathy in school-age children (FIRES). Published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, the study looked at eight patients diagnosed with FIRES and gave them a neuropsychologic evaluation, a brain MRI and a PET scan. The researchers found that the read more

‘More funding needed’ for global epilepsy research

Posted 31 Dec 2010 in Living with epilepsy

More funding is needed if researchers are to develop further treatments for epilepsy, it has been claimed. Medical writer Sy Kraft expressed his belief that many researchers are currently forced to analyse data which is up to 50 years old and more recent studies are needed to help further out understanding of epilepsy. He wrote on Medical News Today: "Epilepsy, read more

Patients over 50 more likely to develop epilepsy

Posted 30 Dec 2010 in Statistics; treatment in the UK

Patients over the age of 50 are more likely to develop epilepsy than those under 50, according to new research. Staff at Columbia University Medical Centre in New York analysed the patient files of 412 people from Rochester, Minnesota, who were diagnosed with epilepsy between 1960 and 1979. The researchers found that, on average, one-in-26 people will develop epilepsy in read more

Fatty acid shown to reduce seizure frequency in epilepsy patients

Posted 29 Dec 2010 in Other treatments

A rare fatty acid can reduce seizure frequency in epilepsy patients, according to new research. Australian news agency ABC News has revealed that Australian and American researchers conducted a joint study on mice to analyse the effectiveness of the acid. The animals were fed a diet rich in the fatty acid and were better protected against seizures than those who read more

Female epilepsy patients on lamotrigine ‘more likely’ to suffer sudden death

Female epilepsy patients who take the drug lamotrigine are more likely to suffer a sudden and unexplained death, according to new research. A study by Norwegian researchers analysed the incidence of sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP) among those prescribed anticonvulsants during a ten-year period, reports Medscape Medical News. The study identified a total of 26 patients with SUDEP, with read more

Epilepsy drug lamotrigine linked to sudden death in patients

Epilepsy patients who take the drug lamotrigine are more likely to suffer sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP), according to new research. The Epidemiology Task Force of the International League Against Epilepsy analysed the results of four previously published international studies on the effects of lamotrigine, reports medscape.com. Overall, the researchers looked at 289 cases and 958 controls and found read more

Childhood-onset epilepsy linked to higher mortality rate

Posted 23 Dec 2010 in Epilepsy in children

Epilepsy patients who develop the condition during childhood and continue to have seizures during adolescence face a higher risk of death than those who have never had epilepsy, according to new research. Finnish researchers tracked the lives of 245 children living in the country who were diagnosed with epilepsy in the 1960s. The study shows that that 60 (24 per read more

New breakthrough in US AED testing

Posted 22 Dec 2010 in Other treatments

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has changed its stance towards the testing of anti-epilepsy drugs (AEDs) and will now accept historical control groups, it has been revealed. Although monotherapy drug treatments have been shown to be more effective at treating epilepsy than the use of multiple drugs, trials of new AEDs must show that they perform better than read more

SCI aim to improve treatment for disease which causes epilepsy

Posted 22 Dec 2010 in Other treatments

Health organisation Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) is aiming to improve the treatment of a disease prevalent in Africa which leads to epilepsy. Many residents of sub-Saharan Africa suffer from cysticercosis, a disease which is caused by eating the eggs of the tapeworm Taenia solium. These eggs can grow into cysts in the tissues, including the brain, which can then cause read more

Scientists identify protein which causes epilepsy

Posted 21 Dec 2010 in Brain science; genetics

A group of Anglo-American researchers have identified the protein which is involved in around 130 brain diseases, including epilepsy. The proteins are found in synapses in the brain and form together to form a group of molecules known as postsynaptic density, or PSD. Lead study investigator Seth Grant, professor at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Edinburgh University, found a read more

Study reveals most effective epilepsy treatment for children

Posted 21 Dec 2010 in Epilepsy in children

The anti-seizure medication ethosuximide is the most effective treatment for young epilepsy patients, according to a study. The OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital is one of 32 institutions who took part in the nationwide trial of three anti-epilepsy drugs – ethosuximide, valproic acid and lamotrigine – on children with epilepsy. Study participants were randomly prescribed one of the drugs and doses read more

Classical music shown to reduce seizures in young epilepsy patients

Posted 20 Dec 2010 in Epilepsy in children

Young epilepsy patients who listened to classical music on a daily basis suffered 30 per cent less seizures, a new study has shown. Staff at the Kaohsiung Medical University (KMU) in Taiwan, in conjunction with scholars at National Sun Yat-sen University's music department, played Mozart's piano concerto K448 to 58 epilepsy patients aged 17 and under for eight minutes a read more

Study reveals brain region which promotes neuron growth

Posted 17 Dec 2010 in Brain science; genetics

US researchers have found the region of the brain which needs to be stimulated in order to promote the growth of neurons, it has been revealed. Staff at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) conducted a study to see which area responds to deep brain stimulation (DBS) and develops new cell growth in the hippocampus – the control centre of read more

Babies exposed to anticonvulsant ‘more likely’ to develop cognitive problems

Babies exposed to the anticonvulsant valproate while in the womb are more likely to develop cognitive problems, according to new research. A study by the Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (NEAD) analysed the intelligence of children born to women who had been prescribed valproate, carbamazepine, lamotrigine or phenytoin. It found that those exposed to valproate had a lower IQ by read more

US doctor claims prize for epilepsy research

Posted 15 Dec 2010 in Epilepsy in children

A US doctor has been awarded a prestigious prize for his contribution to epilepsy research, it has been revealed. Douglas Coulter, PhD, a neuroscientist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, received the 2010 Epilepsy Research Recognition Award for Basic Science at the American Epilepsy Society annual meeting. Dr Coulter's research has studied how a brain injury which affects the neurons read more

Epilepsy patients display regular brain activity at night

Posted 15 Dec 2010 in Brain science; genetics

Epilepsy patients display more regulated brain activity at night, according to new research. Three US health professionals analysed the fluctuations in the activity of the patient's brain over a long-term period in order to try and predict when a seizure may occur. The group studied how the different brain regions (nodes) interact with one another and the probability that any read more

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