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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Ketogenic diet ‘can help improve behavioural and cognitive outcomes’

Posted 23 May 2016 in Epilepsy in children

Children and adolescents with refractory epilepsy could benefit from better behavioural and cognitive outcomes through the use of ketogenic dietary therapy. The high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet has been shown to help control seizures among youngsters with refractory epilepsy, but a new study has shown it can also have a positive impact on cognition and aspects of behaviour. Conducted by Maastricht read more

Investigating a new model of genetic epilepsy

Posted 19 May 2016 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

Grant Announcements 2016: “Individuals who carry mutations in genes that encode receptors activated by the excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamate, can suffer from a variety of disorders, many of which are associated with epilepsy. While our previous research has focused on studying glutamate receptors and their role in neuronal communication, the project funded by ERUK allows us to extend our work to a pre-clinical model that is a direct correlate of epileptic encephalopathy.” Professor David Wyllie

A new approach to blocking seizure networks in temporal lobe epilepsy

Posted 19 May 2016 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

Grant Announcements 2016: “Forward-thinking strategies for the most difficult-to-treat types of epilepsy are desperately needed. I will test whether controlling the activity of entire seizure-generating networks, as opposed to just the seizure foci, can be a more effective treatment to block seizures. To do so, I will use the technology of optogenetics, which has the potential to be translated to the clinic in the coming years, but can also “shine a light” on novel cellular targets to efficiently block seizures for other forms of clinical interventions.” Alfredo Gonzalez-Sulser

The link between sleep problems in infants with epilepsy and social and cognitive development

Posted 19 May 2016 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

Grant Announcements 2016: “Our data will indicate whether offering a standard sleep assessment using sleep diaries or actigraphy for newly diagnosed infants would be a low-cost and effective way to avoid cascading consequences of early sleep problems on subsequent socio-cognitive development. Since sleep is a modifiable risk factor, sleep problems could be addressed if picked up early, which could reduce seizure incidence, lead to an increased quality of life of families and save costs.

We also aim to communicate the results of our study to caregivers and clinicians as quickly as possible in order to draw their attention onto the importance of sleep in early onset epilepsy.” Dr Manuela Pisch

Status epilepticus mortality rates ‘falling in England and Wales”

Posted 18 May 2016 in Statistics; treatment in the UK

New advances in treating status epilepticus are helping to reduce mortality rates associated with the condition in England and Wales. A recent study, led by Queen Mary University of London and University College London, reviewed data from the Office of National Statistics and offered evidence that early treatment of this dangerous condition could improve outcomes. Status epilepticus is characterised by read more

Insomnia in epilepsy patients ‘likely to be related to depression and co-morbid conditions’

Posted 18 May 2016 in Conditions related to epilepsy

A new study has offered evidence that cases of insomnia in people with epilepsy may not be directly caused by their condition. Conducted by South Korea’s Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, in association with three US centres, the research suggested that depression and other comorbid conditions have more to do with causing insomnia than epilepsy itself. Of the 90 adults read more

RCPCH publication release: Infants’, Children’s and Young People’s Child Health Research Charter

Posted 12 May 2016 in Uncategorized

Taken directly from RCPCH: The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has published the Infants’, Children’s and Young People’s Child Health Research Charter. This Research Charter has been developed by the RCPCH with children, young people, parents, carers and healthcare professionals, to provide guiding principles for anyone; whether that be a child, young person, parent, doctor, nurse, allied healthcare read more

Patients and carers highlight important epilepsy trial outcomes

Posted 29 Apr 2016 in Living with epilepsy

A new study has outlined the measures that people with epilepsy and their carers consider most important when carrying out clinical trials of epilepsy. For this research, led by the University of Liverpool, 352 people with epilepsy and 263 of their ‘informal carers’ (usually a parent/spouse) were presented with ten outcome areas and asked to rate their importance. They were also asked read more

Brain study offers insights in memory problems in people with epilepsy

Posted 29 Apr 2016 in Conditions related to epilepsy

Researchers at New York University have uncovered vital new clues as to why many people with epilepsy experience memory problems. Background The formation of memories requires extremely precise co-ordination of activity between the brain cortex (the brain’s folded surface) and the hippocampus (found deep within the temporal lobes). Previous studies have shown that spontaneous bursts (SBs) of epileptic activity in the brain in between seizures read more

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