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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Doctors should consider ‘hormonal balance’ of female epilepsy patients

Posted 25 Nov 2010 in Other treatments

Doctors should consider the specific hormone levels in female epilepsy patients before administering treatment, according to German researchers. Sabine Weil of Munich University has evaluated guidelines and literature on the best course of treatment for women affected with epilepsy, reports The Medical News. Ms Weil, along with colleagues at the German institution, has claimed that female epilepsy patients who are read more

Epilepsy patients can ‘safely’ breastfeed their child

Women can safely breastfeed their child while taking certain anti-epilepsy drugs, according to new research. A study conducted by researchers at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta has shown that children whose mothers took epilepsy drugs while breastfeeding did not suffer any cognitive problems by the age of three. "Our results showed no difference in IQ scores between the read more

New scanning techniques could help detect late-showing brain dysfunction

Posted 24 Nov 2010 in Brain science; genetics

New scanning techniques could help doctors detect problems in the brain months after an injury, according to Canadian doctors. Researchers at a number of Canadian instructions have reviewed the latest research into the long-lasting effect sports injuries can have on brain function, a leading cause of epilepsy. The review claims new brain scanning techniques such as Event Related Potential (ERP) read more

Babies born at night could have higher risk of developing epilepsy

Posted 22 Nov 2010 in Epilepsy in children

Babies born during the night could have a higher risk of developing epilepsy, according to new research. Researchers at the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco have found that those born between the 10pm and 4am were 22 per cent more likely to develop neonatal encephalopathy. Those affected with the condition have difficulty breathing and maintaining full read more

New study looks at role of the BDNF protein in onset of epilepsy

Posted 22 Nov 2010 in Brain science; genetics

Researchers at a US university are set to launch a study which will analyse the role the BDNF protein has in the development of epilepsy. Staff at Georgetown University Medical Centre will analyse whether BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which is involved in cell survival and maintenance, can regulate the development of dendritic spines. Changes in the number of dendritic spines, read more

Neurologists call for wider-use of ketogenic diet

Posted 19 Nov 2010 in Other treatments

Two neurologists have called for the wide-spread use of the high-fat ketogenic diet as a treatment for epilepsy. reports that paediatric neurologists John Freeman and Eric Kossoff of Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Children's Centre claimed the diet is misunderstood by many healthcare professionals. "Several persistent myths and half-truths seem to discourage both doctors and patients from trying a diet that, read more

New epilepsy research will study electrical brain signals

Posted 19 Nov 2010 in Brain science; genetics

Researchers at a US university are set to begin new epilepsy research which will study electrical signals in the brain, it has been revealed. Staff at Georgetown University Medical Centre will record the signals to analyse the progression of seizures and therefore make "inferences about human epilepsy". Alfredo Gonzalez-Sulser, a PhD candidate on the institute's Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience and read more

New cell splicing technique could help epilepsy treatment

Posted 18 Nov 2010 in Other treatments

A new cell splicing technique could help assist with the treatment of epilepsy, it has been revealed. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered a unique way of splicing in the cytoplasm of a nerve cell, reports This new technique could improve communication between cells of the nervous system with those affected with epilepsy. A read more

Skin condition linked to epilepsy

Posted 17 Nov 2010 in Conditions related to epilepsy

Patients suffering from the debilitating skin disease bullous pemphigoid (BP) could be more prone to develop epilepsy, according to new research. A report led by staff at Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals studied the relationship between BP and four neurological diseases, including cerebrovascular disease, dementia, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy. The research, published in the latest Archives of Dermatology journal, revealed that 46 read more

New epilepsy research links cerebral malaria to the condition

Posted 17 Nov 2010 in Conditions related to epilepsy

New epilepsy research has shown that there could be a direct link between the development of the condition and cerebral malaria. A study conducted by staff at Michigan State University (MSU) revealed that around a third of African children diagnosed with cerebral malaria developed epilepsy or other behavioural disorders. Cerebral malaria is a particularly severe form of malaria, which affects read more

Epilepsy research suggests anti-cholesterol drugs could prevent seizures

Posted 16 Nov 2010 in Other treatments

New epilepsy research has suggested that anti-cholesterol drugs (statins) could help reduce the risk of seizures in patients suffering from cardiovascular disease. Dr Mahyar Etminan of the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute tested the effect statins had on patients with cardiovascular disease aged over 65. Published in the journal Neurology, the report shows that those read more

New study highlights treatment window for epilepsy

Posted 16 Nov 2010 in Brain science; genetics

A new study by Australian researchers has suggested that there could be a "window of opportunity" to halt the onset of epilepsy. Staff at the University of Melbourne have found that brain damage continues to develop after a traumatic brain injury (TBI), reports Medical News Today. The report, published in the latest issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, shows read more

Epilepsy could hinder cognitive development in children

Posted 12 Nov 2010 in Epilepsy in children

The onset of epilepsy in children could significantly hinder their cognitive development, according to new research. Philip Fastenau, a neurologist at Case Western Reserve's School of Medicine and University Hospitals of Cleveland, has studied how a child develops mentally following their first seizure. The study, published in the journal Neurology, revealed that children with an average IQ before they developed read more

US university receives funding for epilepsy research

Posted 11 Nov 2010 in Brain science; genetics

Two neurology researchers at a US university have received significant funding to conduct epilepsy research in older patients. The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded a $1.6 million (£995,000) grant to staff members at the University of Arizona. Dr David Labiner, neurology professor and department head, and professor Jenny Chong will look at how the condition affects read more

Lib Dem fury over withdrawal of legal aid in epilepsy drug case

Former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell has criticised the decision to withdraw legal aid from families suing an anti-epilepsy drug manufacturer. Around 80 families had planned to begin legal proceedings against the makers of sodium valproate as they claim it caused birth defects in their children. However, the Legal Service Commission (LSC) has decided against funding the case as read more

More epilepsy research and funding ‘is needed’

Posted 5 Nov 2010 in Statistics; treatment in the UK

More epilepsy research and funding is required to help develop new treatments for the condition, it has been claimed. According to an editorial in the Boston Globe, researchers are making progress in understanding neurological conditions such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, but less so for epilepsy, despite the fact it affects millions of individuals and their families around the world. The read more

Teen school performance ‘harmed’ by pre-natal exposure to AEDs

Children born to women taking multiple drug treatments for epilepsy seizures during pregnancy are more likely to struggle at school than those whose mothers are not affected by the condition, new research suggests. The study, based on the records of 1,235 children born to mothers with epilepsy between 1973 and 1986, found that prenatal exposure to a combination of drugs, read more

The ketogenic diet – proof it works

Posted 16 Jul 2008 in Epilepsy in children / Other treatments

A diet high in fat and low in carbohydrate and protein has been used to treat seizures in children with epilepsy for nearly 90 years. A number of studies have shown the diet is effective, but none of these have been of the type considered to provide the best quality of evidence: randomised controlled trials. These are recommended for all read more

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