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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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The future of epilepsy research: new personalised treatment options and novel therapeutics.

It is estimated that the first human genome sequenced in 2003 cost almost $1 billion and took four years to complete. Fast-forward fifteen years, and remarkably, genomic technologies have advanced so quickly that DNA sequencing is now a valuable and cost-effective clinical tool. The field of epilepsy research has certainly benefitted from genomics, providing a rapid advance in our understanding read more

How can we determine which antiepileptic medication is the best treatment option where monotherapy is the aim?

Posted 16 Nov 2018 in Anti-epileptic drugs / Epilepsy general

For cases of newly diagnosed epilepsy it is often difficult to determine which antiepileptic drug will be the best treatment option where monotherapy is the aim. At the moment Simona Lattanzi and colleagues of the Marche Polytechnic University in Ancona, Italy believe that current approaches do not provide “sufficient data to select an optimal agent as monotherapy for particular patient read more

A closer look at ……GLUTAMATE

Cells in the brain must communicate with each other to function correctly. They do this using chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters travel to neighbouring cells through junctions called synapses. Glutamate is the most common neurotransmitter in the body. Although glutamate is vital for the healthy functioning of the brain, research has found abnormal patterns of glutamate immediately before epileptic seizures. read more

How does stimulation of the senses affect the way epileptic seizures spread across the brain? Final Report

Posted 15 Nov 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

This is the final report from a 2015 project grant for £147,758 awarded to Dr Jason Berwick, Dr Samuel Harris, Professor Ying Zheng, and Professor Theodore Schwartz at the University of Sheffield.  Epileptic seizures can start in a small part of the brain before quickly spreading to others, but very little is known about how or why. Finding where seizures read more

Investigating the mechanisms of depression in temporal lobe epilepsy: Final Report

Posted 12 Nov 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

This is the final report for a 2015 pilot grant for £29,977 awarded to Dr Jackie Foong and Dr Matthias Koepp at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UCLH.  In this pilot study, Dr Foong and colleagues used brain imaging techniques and psychological tests to investigate how the frontal and temporal areas of the brain work in people with temporal read more

What’s new and exciting in epilepsy research?

We asked Dr Robert Wykes, a translational medicine scientist for his personal perspective.  Here is his response: Despite decades of new anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) reaching market, the problem of drug refractory epilepsy remains. 25-30% of patients do not respond appropriately to AEDs. However in recent years advances in technology and non-pharmacological approaches are beginning to address this clinical need. We read more

The Neurological Alliance is asking for your help to fill in a survey which will shape neurological services for the future

Posted 6 Nov 2018 in Epilepsy general

If you or a loved one has epilepsy please take time out to complete the Neurological Alliance patient experience survey. The Neurological Alliance, which brings together organisations working to make life better for millions of people in England with a neurological condition has a new survey available that they would like you to support. The survey aims to collect vital read more

A closer look at ……..SYNAPTIC VESICLES

In order to conduct the millions of tasks the human brain completes every day, nerve cells must communicate with each other. Neighbouring cells are connected by junctions, which are called synapses. Chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters, must travel from one cell to another across a synapse in order to deliver a message. Before travelling across synapses, these chemical messengers are stored read more

The role of autoantibodies in epilepsy: Final Report

This is the final report for a project grant awarded in 2012 for £149,916 to Professor Bethan Lang, Professor Sarosh Irani, Dr Jane Adcock, Dr Holger Kramer, and Professor Arjune Sen at the University of Oxford.  The immune system normally protects a person from infections by making specialised agents called antibodies which normally recognise “foreign targets” and destroy them. Doctors utilise read more

What does the future of Epilepsy Research hold?

Dr Simon Keller at the University of Liverpool was awarded a £73,220 project grant in this year’s funding round.  We asked Dr Keller and his colleague Professor Tony Marson for their perspective on what the next ten years of epilepsy research hold. This is what they said: “It is difficult to know for sure how treatments for seizures will improve read more

Sleep apnoea and epilepsy: is there a relationship?

What is the relationship between epilepsy and sleep apnoea? In previous studies it has been shown that a greater number of people with epilepsy also experience sleep apnoea, than in the general population. Researchers from Rutgers University wanted to develop a screening tool to detect sleep apnoea in patients with epilepsy as it is known that sleep apnoea can increase read more

Epilepsy Research UK on Tour – Birmingham

Posted 26 Oct 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

On Wednesday 26 September, Epilepsy Research UK travelled to Birmingham to host an evening together with some of our regional researchers and supporters. The annual ILAE (International League Against Epilepsy) conference was taking place, so it was a great opportunity for us to see our researchers! ERUK Research Manager Caoimhe Bennett put together a programme of speakers for us to read more

Improving epilepsy care through brain modelling

Researchers from France are trialling the use of brain modelling to improve epilepsy care in a large clinical study. In planning surgery, scientists create personalised brain models of patients and simulate the spread of abnormal activity during epileptic seizures. Earlier studies showed promising results for this approach which is now providing the basis for a large scale trial in a read more

Important new finding in the mechanisms underlying SUDEP

An Epilepsy Research UK-funded study has made an important finding in the mechanisms underlying sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), which may lead to treatment options in the future. Professor John Jeffreys at the University of Oxford has been working alongside researchers at Purdue University and the University of Bristol on the project, funded by ERUK in 2014. The research read more

Alzheimer’s disease and antiepileptic medication

According to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland there is an increased risk of stroke among people with Alzheimer’s who are being treated with antiepileptic drugs.  The incidence of an epilepsy diagnosis is highest in those who are young or in those aged over 65.  Part of the reason for this increase in the older population is read more

Brain surgery: predicting patient outcomes

Artificial Intelligence is increasingly being used to make real inroads in the medical field.  Now neurologists from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) have used artificial intelligence to develop a technique which may eventually help both patients and doctors weigh up the pros and cons of using brain surgery to treat debilitating seizures caused by epilepsy. Although the number read more

Personal experience and scientific evidence – what does it feel like to have a seizure?

What does it feel like to have a seizure? Whilst neurologists will say that a seizure is caused by an over-excitation of neuronal activity in the brain, some people describe their experience as an ‘earthquake, starting slow and growing’. Now, studies at Jefferson (Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University), have shown that some types of seizure paradoxically begin with a read more

Brain tumours and epilepsy in children

Compared with the effects of brain tumours in adults, brain tumours in children cause additional problems and complications. One issue is that they can lead to intractable epilepsy. However the genetic cause of this hard-to-treat epilepsy in paediatric brain tumours is not yet fully understood and nor can it be effectively treated with existing epileptic drugs. Now a Korean research read more

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