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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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Researchers discover how genetic mutation causes epilepsy syndrome

Posted 16 Jun 2016 in Brain science; genetics

According to a new study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, a mutation in a gene called SCN1B, which has been linked to genetic epilepsy with febrile seizure plus (GEFS+), could ‘work’ by producing an abnormal protein that takes on an additional, harmful function. This knowledge could lead to the development of much-needed new therapies for GEFS+. The term ‘GEFS+’ describes families in which members read more

Important insights into the link between stress and seizures

Posted 15 Jun 2016 in Other treatments

People with epilepsy frequently report emotional stress/anxiety in the lead-up to a seizure; but although the association between stress and seizures is well recognised, the underlying  mechanisms are still not understood. A research study, published yesterday in the journal Science Signaling, has produced exciting findings that may help the development of new strategies to treat stress-induced epilepsy. Using a rodent model read more

Disappointing result for new epilepsy drug in clinical trial

Posted 14 Jun 2016 in Other treatments

Disclaimer: Epilepsy Research UK is completely neutral and is not affiliated with any pharmaceutical company, or any particular drug compound. Marinus Pharmaceuticals announced yesterday that their drug candidate, ganaxolone, developed for adults with drug-resistant focal onset epilepsy, did not meet the ‘primary endpoint’ (the outcome by which the effectiveness of treatments is evaluated) in a phase three clinical trial. In other read more

Antiepileptic drugs may slow growth rate in children

Posted 13 Jun 2016 in Epilepsy in children

A new study published in the scientific journal BMC Pediatrics suggests that the common antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), valproate and oxcarbazepine, may slow growth in children when taken together or on their own. According to the researchers, this could be due to the effect of these drugs on bone metabolism. The team, based at the National Defense Medical Centre in Taiwan, read more

New drug being trialled for Dravet syndrome

Posted 10 Jun 2016 in Epilepsy in children / Other treatments

Disclaimer: Epilepsy Research UK is completely neutral and is not affiliated with any pharmaceutical company, or any particular drug compound. The pharmaceutical company, Zogenix, has announced the start of a new clinical trial for a drug compound called ZX008, which it has developed for the treatment of Dravet syndrome. About Dravet syndrome Dravet syndrome is a rare and severe form of read more

Epileptic seizures could be predicted by monitoring heart activity

Posted 8 Jun 2016 in Living with epilepsy

Research from Japan shows that heart rate variability (HRV – the variation in the time interval between heartbeats) could potentially be used to predict epileptic seizures. Heart rate and rhythm can be easily measured using a wearable sensor, and evidence shows that they are affected by seizure activity. If the ‘predictive value’ of this is confirmed, we will be a read more

Headaches related to mood problems in people with epilepsy

A new study has shed light on the relationship between headaches and mood disturbances in people with epilepsy. Carried out by Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, in Seoul, the research examined the nature and prevalence of headaches in people with epilepsy, and explored their correlation with mood problems. The findings are published in the medical journal Epilepsy & Behavior. During the study, a total read more

Study shows that SUDEP doesn’t always come after a seizure

Posted 27 May 2016 in Living with epilepsy

Scientists at the US Case Medical Centre, in Ohio, have shown for the first time that sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) can occur even when a seizure has not taken place. This is a highly significant finding, and it suggests that seizure detection devices may not be the most effective tools for prevention. SUDEP is the sudden death of a person with epilepsy for read more

Brivaracetam shows safety as intravenous infusion in new study

New research has demonstrated the potential benefits that the antiepileptic drug (AED) brivaracetam can provide when administered intravenously. Conducted by the Mid-Atlantic Epilepsy and Sleep Center in Bethesda in the US, the study aimed to examine the feasibility of offering the drug intravenously as an alternative for those unable to benefit from oral therapy. A total of 105 people, aged between 16 read more

Companions and witnesses ‘can aid diagnosis of seizures’

Posted 25 May 2016 in Diagnosis of epilepsy

According to new research, the diagnosis of seizures can be made easier with the input of people who accompanying patients to doctor’s appointments. The study, conducted by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa, in collaboration with Loughborough University and the University of Sheffield, aimed to evaluate the contributions that companions and witnesses to seizures can make to the diagnostic process. read more

Fenfluramine shows long-term efficacy in treating Dravet syndrome

Posted 25 May 2016 in Other treatments

A recent study has shown encouraging evidence for the long-term efficacy of fenfluramine in the treatment of Dravet syndrome, a rare and therapy-resistant epilepsy syndrome. The research, carried out by the University of Antwerp, built on an earlier study of add-on fenfluramine treatment in 12 patients with Dravet syndrome, which was published in 2012. The findings suggested that the drug has a beneficial read more

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