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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Call for global action and renewed momentum on epilepsy

Despite its wide-reaching effects, epilepsy is often overlooked as a public health concern which is why three years ago, in 2015, the World Health Organisation (WHO) passed a resolution encouraging countries to prioritise epilepsy and at the same time established a three-year reporting period to track progress. The three year term is set to expire this year, in 2018, which read more

New hope for the treatment of intractable epilepsy

Posted 7 May 2018 in Brain science; genetics / Other treatments

Although the majority of people diagnosed with epilepsy will have their seizures controlled with medication a significant number of people will not respond satisfactorily to any current treatment.  We know that many seizures in severe forms of epilepsy originate in the hippocampus of the brain. Researchers from Lund University in Sweden have shown that they were able to reduce seizures read more

Where to place electrodes in advance of brain surgery?

Brain surgery is clearly an extremely difficult and precise procedure.  In advance of surgery for patients with intractable epilepsy doctors have to decide where to plant the electrodes so that they can precisely identify the part of the brain where the seizures originate.  The information gathered from these probes can then be used to remove or destroy the area in read more

ERUK collaborating with medical research charities to ensure research results are shared

Posted 1 May 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

AMRC Open Research is a new platform for rapid author-led publication and open peer review of research funded by AMRC member charities.  Epilepsy Research UK is one of 23 members of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) working in collaboration to develop and launch a joint publication platform, AMRC Open Research.  By removing traditional barriers and delays to publication, read more

Well done to Team ERUK at The London Marathon!

Posted 25 Apr 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

Huge congratulations to our amazing London Marathon runners who took part in the hottest London Marathon on record Sunday – what a fantastic day! In total we had 9 runners take part, and the months of training certainly paid off as everyone reached the finish line.  We couldn’t be more proud and are truly grateful for all the hard work read more

Newcastle Meet a Researcher Event

Posted 25 Apr 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

On Thursday 15th March Epilepsy Research UK went on tour to Newcastle to visit some of our regional researchers and supporters. Since 2009, Epilepsy Research UK has funded 4 research projects at Newcastle University, and so we were delighted at the opportunity to visit the Institute of Neuroscience to hear about some of their recent work. Speaking at the event read more

ERUK welcomes new regulations for use of epilepsy drug in women and girls of childbearing age

New regulations for the prescription of anti-epileptic drug have been introduced by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulation Authority (MHRA). Sodium valproate (also known as Epilim, Depakote, Epival, Episenta, and Convulex) can be prescribed for epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and migraine, can no longer be prescribed to women of childbearing age unless they are on a pregnancy prevention plan (PPP). The guidelines read more

Those with epilepsy at greater risk of dying from ‘unnatural causes’

Research findings have just been published which indicate that whilst the incidence is low, those with epilepsy are more likely than the population at large to die from ‘unnatural causes’. As Dr Hayley Gorton from Manchester University says “We already know that people with epilepsy are at increased risk of dying prematurely, but such a detailed examination of specific types read more

Is it possible to have a stethoscope which monitors the brain’s electrical activity?

Posted 10 Apr 2018 in Diagnosis of epilepsy

Stanford University neurologists have been working to develop a ‘brain stethoscope’ which can be used by non-specialists to detect ‘silent seizures’ in which people with epilepsy do not experience any of the associated physical convulsions. The benefit of being able to detect these ‘silent seizures’ in real time means that treatments and or/therapies may be administered straight away so avoiding read more

Epilepsy Research UK Celebrates Purple Day at the Houses of Parliament!

Posted 9 Apr 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

As many of you will know, since 2008 the 26th March has been known as Purple Day, a day for people around the world to wear purple to increase awareness of epilepsy. This year our research manager Caoimhe Bennett represented Epilepsy Research UK at the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Epilepsy, organised by Epilepsy Action, at Portcullis House. Other charities read more

Lightweight prototype brain scanner developed

Posted 6 Apr 2018 in Diagnosis of epilepsy

Scientists at UCL have developed a lightweight brain scanner which can be worn as a helmet to help identify the source of epileptic seizures prior to possible surgery. This is especially useful for young children as the equipment is flexible and close to the head, giving high resolution images. Brain scanners are vital for those whose epilepsy has not responded read more

Largest ever neuroimaging analysis of epilepsy

Posted 2 Apr 2018 in Diagnosis of epilepsy

The aim of much epilepsy research is to better manage the condition with more personalised and effective medical treatments. A massive international study combining information from a total of 24 research centres has resulted in the largest neuroimaging analysis of epilepsy ever conducted. This global MRI scanning data has shown several interesting and unexpected findings.  Namely that even with different read more

How can technology help those with epilepsy manage their condition?

Posted 31 Mar 2018 in Living with epilepsy

The Epilepsy Care Alliance formed of Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Kent, and various tech companies has been running a programme, named myCareCentric Epilepsy, exploring how technology can equip people with the ability to self-manage their condition. Patients enrolled in the programme are given a wearable device which records their health data and monitors seizures, building a read more

The BBC Radio 4 Appeal Thursday 29th March: Nick Christian tells us how research helped his daughter

Posted 21 Mar 2018 in News from Epilepsy Research UK

The BBC Radio 4 Appeal was first broadcast on Sunday 25th March, and aired again on Thursday, 29th March.  Do please listen again to this heartfelt plea for more funds for research into epilepsy. Nick and his family experienced first hand, with his daughter Rachel, how advances in the field of neurology had enabled doctors to better locate and treat read more

Life extended of donated brain tissue from epilepsy surgery

Posted 20 Mar 2018 in Epilepsy and its causes

Surgery is often the last resort for patients with refractory epilepsy but donated tissue can help us in our quest to find more, and more effective treatments for the condition.  Now scientists at Lund University in Sweden have developed a method to extend the life of brain tissue taken during surgery on patients with epilepsy. Samples can now be used read more

Parents at risk of mental health issues if they have a child with epilepsy

Posted 17 Mar 2018 in Living with epilepsy

Epilepsy does not just affect the individual diagnosed but their family, friends, colleagues and aquaintances. A new study has shown that parents, and particularly mothers, are at greater risk of mental health issues such as anxiety, stress and depression if they have a child diagnosed with epilepsy. And this is especially the case where the child also has behavioural problems. read more

Which commonly prescribed drug is more effective for infants with epilepsy?

Posted 12 Mar 2018 in Epilepsy in children

This is the question that a team of researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Chicago asked themselves. For more than 50% of infants diagnosed with epilepsy  with no known cause, it is important that clinicians know which medication might be most likely to control the condition. Getting it right early would mean better future outcomes for these babies. So researchers read more

Effective epilepsy medication without the side effects?

Posted 9 Mar 2018 in Anti-epileptic drugs

Approximately 60-70% of people with epilepsy will have their seizures controlled with medication. But even when epileptic seizures are controlled with medication the drugs used may have unpleasant, unwanted side effects. Ideally what patients and clinicians are looking for is a drug which works effectively and has no down side. Now new research from the Australian National University aims to read more

Mossy cells implicated in epilepsy

Posted 2 Mar 2018 in Epilepsy and its causes

‘Mossy cells’ are located in the hippocampus, deep within the brain. Their role in epilepsy has been the subject of discussion for many years. New research conducted by Ivan Soltesz, Professor of neurosurgery and neurosciences at Stanford University suggests that they play a vital role in seizures and memory. In this study the research team were able to turn mossy read more

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