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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Building on Success: Announcing our 2018-19 Grant Round

Posted 19 Jul 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

Epilepsy Research UK is thrilled to announce that we will be accepting applications for our 2018/19 grant round from Monday 23rd July 2018. We are inviting high quality applications to support research into the causes, treatment, prevention, co-morbidities, and psychological aspects of epilepsy. The past year has been a huge success for Epilepsy Research UK as in 2018, we awarded over £1 read more

ERUK helps to launch Evidence Week at Parliament

Posted 16 Jul 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

On 25th June, Epilepsy Research UK was invited to speak at the launch of Evidence Week in the Churchill Room at the House of Commons. Evidence Week, run by the organisation Sense About Science, aimed to convince politicians to make good use of evidence and expertise to help shape regulations and policies. The launch was attended by MPs, peers, and read more

Meet a Researcher – Exeter & Birmingham

Posted 10 Jul 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

We are delighted to be hosting our next regional ‘Meet a Researcher’ events in September 2018. Save the date and join us in: Exeter, 12 September,  6.30-8.30pm Taking place at the Living Systems Institute at the University of Exeter, we’ll have four 10 minute talks and hear from funded ERUK researchers, along with information from a support group. Refreshments at read more

A ‘baby whale’ may help to further our understanding of epilepsy

Researchers from the University of Texas believe that what they have learnt from a ‘baby whale’ which uses electrical pulses to navigate around its world may help humans in the future by shedding light on how those same electrical pathways operate in conditions such as epilepsy.  Their findings have the potential to further our understanding of the role of potassium read more

Did you know that men are at a slightly increased risk of developing epilepsy?

Posted 26 Jun 2018 in Epilepsy general / Living with epilepsy

There is a small but significant increased risk of epilepsy in men.  They also tend to be more susceptible than women to focal epilepsy.  And when it comes to antiepileptic medication, although the drug therapies seem to treat the seizures in the same way and to the same effect, the side effects experienced can be very different.   With recent read more

What is consciousness? Epilepsy patients being assessed for surgery bring us a step closer to understanding

Epilepsy patients being assessed for possible surgery have electrodes implanted in the brain in order to try to locate the precise area of the brain responsible for causing their seizures.  This provided an opportunity for researchers to discover more about ‘consciousness’.  Using the implanted electrodes, scientists were able to monitor the activity of individual neurons in the brain giving us read more

Everest Base Camp trek for epilepsy research

Posted 21 Jun 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

In September, committed ERUK supporter Nathan Liptrot will embark on a 17-day trek to Everest Base Camp and is raising funds for Epilepsy Research UK. Here, Nathan tells is about his reasons for choosing Epilepsy Research UK and the details of his forthcoming challenge; “The idea of the challenge started almost 2 years ago when I saw an advert on read more

Cannabidiol shows promise alongside conventional epilepsy medication in Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome

Posted 20 Jun 2018 in Epilepsy in children / Other treatments

The use of medical cannabis to treat seizures has been in the news a lot this week due to the current case involving 12-year old Billy Caldwell. Last month, a study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on the results of a clinical trial of the effects of Cannabidiol on drop seizures in Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome read more

Does epilepsy surgery offer long term benefits?

Although epilepsy surgery has been used to treat epilepsy that does not respond to medication for many years now, little is known about its long term success. Now researchers in the UK have looked at the improvement rates long term. Antiepileptic medication helps approximately 70% of people diagnosed with epilepsy but ‘hard to treat’ or intractable epilepsy affects the remaining read more

Brain activity responsible for absence seizures identified

An international team of researchers led by Professor Crunelli at Cardiff University have identified the brain activity that results in absence seizures. Absence epilepsy is the most common form of epilepsy in children and teenagers and causes periods of little or no awareness and can be mistaken for what looks like ‘daydreaming’ to the casual observer, but which is in read more

Re-purposing existing drugs for the treatment of epilepsy

Posted 11 Jun 2018 in Epilepsy and its causes / Epilepsy general

It is thought that between 30-40% of people with epilepsy have what is termed ‘refractory epilepsy’ as it is not controlled by current medication.  Seizures are the result of alterations in the balance in the excitatory and inhibitory electrical signals in the brain.  Precisely what causes these alterations is unclear.  But now French researchers from INSERM have recently published papers read more

Is the brainstem implicated in epilepsy?

People with epilepsy often complain about cognitive problems such as memory impairment and lack of concentration and focus.  This is particularly the case with patients diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy who also frequently lose consciousness.  Because seizures typically originate in the temporal lobe or other areas in the cortex of the brain (the surface of the structure rather than deep read more

Autism and epilepsy

Early life epileptic seizures have been linked to autism and other disorders, but precisely why this relationship exists is not entirely clear. What has been known for some time is that there are critical periods in the development of the young brain and seizures can disrupt this, leading to learning and cognition issues. Now, Frances Jensen, a Professor of Neurology read more

New research shines a light on the ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet (which is high in protein and low in carbohydrate) has been used for a very long time to treat seizures in people with refractory epilepsy. However no-one has been entirely clear as to why it may be able to help reduce the number and severity of seizures. Now new research suggests that the diet may influence the read more

Could leakage in the blood brain barrier lead to seizures?

Posted 29 May 2018 in Epilepsy and its causes

Recent research findings have suggested that although one of the causes of epilepsy is a dysfunction in the brain’s neurons leading to increased electrical activity in the brain that temporarily affect how it works, another possible cause may be leakage in the blood brain barrier which could lead to seizures. The blood brain barrier typically lets nutrients into the brain read more

Could there be a link between hypertension and epilepsy?

Posted 25 May 2018 in Epilepsy and its causes / Uncategorized

What might link hypertension (high blood pressure), epilepsy and an overactive bladder? According to Jianmin Cui, professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, at the University of Washington, St Louis, these conditions may be linked by electrical activity in a specific protein. In collaboration with other laboratories at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University read more

Could a fungus in the Red Sea lead to new epilepsy treatments

Antiepileptic medication controls seizures for the majority of people with epilepsy however between 30-40% of people will not respond to this medication and will not achieve seizure freedom. Researchers are therefore always looking for new compounds that could potentially treat epilepsy and in order to find new leads they have now started to look at the sea as a unique read more

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