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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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Epilepsy Research UK on tour – Exeter

Posted 20 Sep 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

On Wednesday 12 September, Epilepsy Research UK visited The Living Systems Institute at The University of Exeter to host an evening together with some of our regional researchers and supporters. Professors John Terry & Adam Zeman put together a fantastic programme for us and we were keen to hear all about the research that has taken place, some of which read more

Genetic epilepsies respond to epilepsy surgery in different ways

Technological advances in recent years mean that it is now easier, and considerably cheaper, to test people with epilepsy for underlying genetic causes. As a result of this, scientists have been able to uncover new genetic abnormalities linked to epilepsy. If scientists can understand the causes of a person’s epilepsy, they may be able to provide improved epilepsy treatments. This read more

Neurostimulation may offer hope for memory enhancement in epilepsy

Posted 14 Sep 2018 in Memory / Epilepsy general / Living with epilepsy

Despite memory difficulties being a top concern for people with epilepsy, there are currently no existing treatments available to directly target memory issues that are related to epilepsy. This was what motivated researchers from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth University, in the U.S. to investigate neurostimulation. Stephen Meisenhelter and Dr Barbara Jobst reviewed 61 recent research studies on read more

Introducing you to our new Chief Executive: Maxine Smeaton

Epilepsy Research UK is delighted to announce that Maxine Smeaton has been appointed as our new Chief Executive Officer. Maxine has joined us from the Tuberous Sclerosis Association, where she was Interim CEO. She has a wealth of experience in the charity sector leading the renowned medical research charity Blond McIndoe and working in strategic development roles for both the read more

Implant in brain detects, stops and prevents seizures

Researchers led by the University of Cambridge have successfully used an implanted device in the brain to detect, stop and prevent epileptic seizures in an animal model. When the first signals of a seizure were detected, the device delivered a naturally occurring brain chemical (a neurotransmitter) which stopped the seizure from progressing. There are many different types of epileptic seizure read more

The ERUK view of the current debate around cannabis-based products as a treatment for epilepsy

Posted 5 Sep 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

The ERUK view of the current debate around cannabis-based products as a treatment for epilepsy can be found below. To summarise the statement, whilst there is evidence that medical-grade preparations of an active ingredient of cannabis, cannabidiol, can be beneficial in some types of epilepsy, cannabis oil itself cannot be considered a safe or effective treatment. This is due to read more

Success for less invasive surgery for refractory epilepsy

Posted 4 Sep 2018 in Epilepsy and brain surgery

In a first for Europe surgeons at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) have successfully treated an epilepsy patient using a high precision thermal (laser) therapy.  The treatment is only suitable for those people with refractory epilepsy where the focus of the seizure can be precisely targeted.  This technique means that surgery is much less invasive, leading to a shorter period of read more

Researchers find protein linked to the treatment of both epilepsy and bipolar disorder

A team of researchers from the Royal Holloway have found that one particular protein which was known to be implicated in both epilepsy and bipolar disorder seems to be the key linking the treatment of both disorders. Sodium valproate which is associated with an increased chance of birth defects if taken during pregnancy, is used in the treatment of both read more

Early warning activity in the brain may lead to new treatments

Posted 28 Aug 2018 in Uncategorized

A small in-human research study offers hope of inhibiting focal seizures in patients with refractory epilepsy. Alongside the areas of the brain involved with a focal seizure, research carried out at the University of Alabama found that similar electrical activity was also evident in a key area of the brain which is involved in seizure generation (the anterior thalamic nucleus).  read more

Tailoring treatment for Early Infant Epileptic Encephalopathy

  Diagnosing epilepsy early is important as it means that treatment can start earlier and any associated developmental risks associated with the condition can be minimised. Research has found that more than 50 genes are associated with Early Infant Epileptic Encephalopathy (EIEE) but routine genetic tests fail in at least half the cases to pinpoint the cause of the condition. read more

Accurate seizure prediction possible for more people with epilepsy

Accurate seizure prediction is vital for people whose epilepsy remains uncontrolled. Thanks to the crowdsourcing of 10,000 algorithms worldwide researchers at the University of Melbourne are confident that clinically relevant epileptic seizure prediction is possible in a wider range of patients than previously thought. “Our evaluation revealed on average a 90 per cent improvement in seizure prediction performance, compared to read more

Partnership between two specific proteins plays a key role in regulating the brain’s activity

Epilepsy is characterised by seizures caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Mapping the patterns of neuronal activity in the brain and understanding the dynamic between nerve cells could lead to better treatments for epilepsy. Researchers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, working with a team of international scientists investigated how brain proteins interact to regulate the electrical read more

Using brain tissue to test the impact of treatments on epilepsy and other neurological conditions

Professor Jurgen Knoblich, a molecular biologist at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna is confident that the way to cost effectively test drugs for incurable neurological conditions is to use human brain tissue. To date most new drugs are initially tested on animal models and although the animals are specifically bred to show read more

Would you like to help further research into epilepsy?

Interested in taking part in epilepsy research? Then look no further. Professor Henry Houlden, from University College London, is looking for volunteers to take part in his research.  He aims to recruit as many people with epilepsy as possible who are willing to give a blood sample so that their genome can be sequenced.  This will help to identify any read more

Protein increases number of inhibitory synapses in the brain and reduces seizures

Researchers at Brandeis University have used a protein called Semaphorin 4D (Sema4D) to increase the number of inhibitory synapses in the brain and by so doing have dampened down the hyperexcitability of neurons responsible for epileptic seizures. Using an animal model, this has effectively reduced the severity of the seizures experienced. “Our idea is simple and has high impact potential,” read more

Structure of brain receptor implicated in epilepsy has been made clear for the first time

A receptor in the brain for a chemical messenger, called GABA, has long been implicated in various disorders such as epilepsy. Now, for the first time researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Centre in Dallas, have been able to get a clear image of its structure.  “The implications are far-reaching for understanding mechanisms of drug binding and designing new drugs for read more

Protein found in microscopic worms may offer new treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy

Drug-resistant epilepsy is thought to affect about 30% of people with epilepsy, which is more than 200,000 people nationwide.  Now new research has suggested that a protein found in a type of worm could help to reduce the number of epileptic seizures experienced by people whose epilepsy remains uncontrolled.  At the moment the findings have only been witnessed in animal read more

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