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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Epilepsy Research UK’s 2019 International Expert Workshop

Epilepsy Research UK has a proud history of organising international expert workshops on ‘hot topics’ in epilepsy research. Since their inception in 1993 the intention has been to bring together some of the best minds in epilepsy research from around the world to share new research findings, and to discuss and debate novel approaches to furthering our understanding and treatment read more

SUDEP Action and ERUK supporting judicial review of Government to protect epilepsy patients

Posted 20 Feb 2019 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

On 19th February the The Good Law Project threatened to issue judicial review proceedings on Tuesday 26 February, unless the Government cancels powers allowing pharmacists to alter prescriptions in the event of medicines shortages. SUDEP Action are supporting this process by providing evidence on the potentially catastrophic impact this could have on those living with epilepsy. Channel4 News aired an informative read more

The supply of antiepileptic medication in the event of a ‘no-deal Brexit’

In December of 2018 it became apparent that in the event of serious drug shortages as a result of a ‘no deal Brexit’, the Government had plans to use emergency powers to authorise pharmacists to overrule medical prescriptions. This ‘serious shortage protocol’ caused serious concern amongst a coalition of epilepsy and neurological organisations who are concerned with safeguarding patients. The read more

What would the impact of a no-deal Brexit have on the epilepsy research community in the UK?

We are all of us wondering what the repercussions of a no-deal Brexit would have on our lives but in the following summary, our CEO, Maxine Smeaton spells out a few of the possible effects of a no-deal on the epilepsy research community. We at ERUK, along with other epilepsy charities are committed to maximising support for medical research in read more

Big win for people with epilepsy: epilepsy medications will be exempt from Brexit after coalition intervenes

The Government has pledged to exempt epilepsy patients from its plans for post-Brexit medicine supplies after experts said some people could die. The Department of Health and Social Care is proposing to give pharmacists powers to dispense alternative drugs if those prescribed by GPs are in short supply after Britain leaves the EU. But the heads of Britain’s largest epilepsy read more

Could drugs licensed for other conditions help in the treatment of epilepsy?

Posted 3 Jan 2019 in Anti-epileptic drugs / Epilepsy general

“Taking a new look at medicines that are already approved for clinical use may help identify treatments that could reduce seizures and improve the quality of life for people with epilepsy who have been unable to find effective therapies,” said Vicky Whittemore, PhD, at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). The development of new drugs is a read more

Is it possible to distinguish between epilepsy and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures?

“Many individuals are being treated for epilepsy who do not actually have this disorder”, so says Peter Crino, MD, PhD, Chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures (PNES) are common and may account for up to 20% of people being treated for epilepsy. PNES are events of psychological origin, resembling read more

New genetic study of epilepsy may reveal future treatments

A study involving nearly 45,000 participants, has discovered 11 new genes associated with epilepsy. Researchers compared the DNA of 15,000 people with epilepsy to the DNA of 30,000 people without epilepsy in the largest study of its’ kind to implicate the 11 new genes. They also found that the majority of current anti-epileptic drugs directly target one or more of read more

The link between stress and seizures: Final Report

In 2014 Professor Stafford Lightman at the University of Bristol was awarded a pilot grant of £29,208 to investigate the link between stress and seizures. The association between stress and seizures is well recognised, however the mechanisms for this relationship are still not understood. Professor Lightman and his team from the University of Bristol and the University of Exeter, focused read more

Nathan Liptrot – why I fundraise for research

Posted 5 Dec 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

Nathan has been an enthusiastic fundraiser for us, so we thought we would find out more about why he has chosen Epilepsy Research UK as his ‘charity of choice’. Why is it that any organisation needs to raise funds? In many cases it is because there is a lack of government funding and even where funding is available, voluntary funding read more

Language Development After Epilepsy Surgery in Children: Final Report

This is the final report for a 2011 project grant for £99,805 awarded to Dr Torsten Baldeweg, Dr Frederique Liegeois, Professor Helen Cross, Dr Peter Rankin, and Professor Faraneh Vargha-Khadem at the Institute of Child Health, University College London.  Approximately one third of children with epilepsy do not respond to treatment with medication, and a proportion of these children may be considered for read more

Genetic & Autoimmune Childhood Epilepsy (GACE) Study: Final Report

This is the final report for a 2013 project grant of £149,481 awarded to Professor Sameer Zuberi at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow. The purpose of this study was to investigate how new genetic testing technologies can improve the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. This is the first study of its’ kind, and included all children in Scotland read more

Can seizures in Angelman syndrome be controlled by gene therapy?

Angelman syndrome is a severe genetic neurological disorder that occurs in children and is most often diagnosed between the ages of 3 and 7 when the clinical symptoms become apparent. Amongst other symptoms are intellectual and developmental delay. The syndrome is also characterised by epileptic seizures which occur in 90% of cases. There is no known cure and there is read more

Cutting-edge techniques to explore brain cell activity in epilepsy: Final Report

This is the final report for a 2014 fellowship grant for £211,516 awarded to Dr Rob Wykes at UCL.  Recent technical advances allow optical imaging of neocortical network activity in exquisite detail using rodent models. Dr Wykes at UCL was amongst the first apply this technology to study important questions in the field of epilepsy. Using a cutting-edge technique called read more

What might we see in epilepsy research developments in the coming years?

Dr Vincenzo Marra from the University of Leicester was awarded an Epilepsy Research UK project grant earlier this year to look at how naturally occurring changes in the brain during a seizure could throw light on new therapeutic targets. As Dr Marra explains: “I am interested in how the brain can handle an enormous amount of information with very little read more

Brain seizures can occur if perineuronal nets are dissolved

Scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have determined that perineuronal nets modulate electrical impulses in the brain. What’s more, brain seizures can occur if the nets are dissolved. These findings have implications for some types of acquired epilepsy caused through trauma, tumours or infection of the brain. And further, if the team’s hypotheses are correct, the findings could read more

Finding brain imaging measures that help to predict memory outcomes in children after epilepsy surgery: Final Report

Posted 22 Nov 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

This is the final report for a 2015 pilot grant for £21,666 awarded to Professor Stefano Seri, Professor Amanda Wood, and Dr Elaine Foley at Aston University.  Epilepsy surgery in children offers the prospect of fewer seizures and improved overall quality of life; however there is a risk that brain regions that are important for cognition (thinking, learning and memory) will read more

Rapid advances in genomics mean that more people with epilepsy may benefit

Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Centre have shown how quickly rapid advancements in genomics may benefit epilepsy patients. In a third of epilepsy cases reviewed in children, there was a change of diagnosis based on the new available data and in some cases this led to doctors prescribing more effective treatments. The study suggests that reviews should be conducted every read more

How Biomarkers will Transform epilepsy care in the 2020s

We asked Professor Deb Pal, from King’s College London, who was awarded an ERUK pilot grant in this year’s funding round, to give us his view on where the biggest advances will be made in epilepsy research over the next few years.  Here is his response. At my primary school in the 1970s, we had an old lady music teacher read more

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