A compound commonly found in pickled capers has been shown to activate proteins required for normal human brain and heart activity, and may even lead to future therapies for the treatment of epilepsy and abnormal heart rhythms.
More than 50 million people have epilepsy; about 80% live in lower- or middle-income countries, where diagnosis and treatment can be difficult or impossible. The percentage of people with epilepsy that is not receiving treatment is known as the treatment gap; in some countries, this gap exceeds 90%.
How was epilepsy research forced to morph during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic? Researchers from 11 countries shared their experiences and thoughts on the future of laboratory research, clinical trials, and in-person conferences.
Journal Prize winner Zhong Ying integrated genetics, clinical presentation, EEG, MRI, and histopathological diagnosis in a group of people with drug-resistant epilepsy. All had a specific type of brain lesion that can be difficult to identify.
Journal Prize winner Ana Coito is developing methods to extract information from EEG readings about brain connectivity and information exchange. Her award-winning research focused on applying these methods to low-density EEG readings, which would make them accessible to more regions of the world.
Journal prize winner Benjamin Tolchin tested motivational interviewing to help people with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) start and continue psychotherapy. Often mistaken for epilepsy, these seizures cause serious problems, yet many health care professionals discount them as "not real."
Understanding the source and network of signals as the brain functions is a central goal of brain research. Now, Carnegie Mellon engineers have created a system for high-density EEG imaging of the origin and path of normal and abnormal brain signals.
When seizures last longer than about 5 minutes--a condition called status epilepticus--emergency treatment is required. About two-thirds of people respond to initial treatment with benzodiazepines, but the others need a second drug. Which drug to choose is a matter of some debate.
A blood test may help predict which people with multiple sclerosis (MS) will get worse during the following year, according to a study published in the May 20, 2020, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
University of Utah biomedical engineering assistant professor Jan Kubanek has discovered that sound waves of high frequency (ultrasound) can be emitted into a patient’s brain to alter his or her state. It’s a non-invasive treatment that doesn’t involve medications or surgery and has a unique potential to treat mental disorders including depression and anxiety and neurological disorders such as chronic pain and epilepsy.
Using night-vision goggle technology, near-infrared light, and high-resolution detectors, a wearable imaging device for awake infants with brain disorders was developed by a team of scientists and a pediatric neurosurgeon at UTHealth. Cap-based Transcranial Optical Tomography (CTOT), which utilizes a cap for the baby’s head, is the first high-resolution, whole-brain functional imaging device that does not require the baby to be put under anesthesia.
Led by Biomedical Engineering Prof Dion Khodagholy, researchers have designed biocompatible ion-driven soft transistors that can perform real-time neurologically relevant computation and a mixed-conducting particulate composite that allows creation of electronic components out of a single material. These have promise for bioelectronic devices that are fast, sensitive, biocompatible, soft, and flexible, with long-term stability in physiological environments such as the human body. In particular, they could facilitate diagnosis and monitoring of neurological disease.
Seizure control is the primary driver of epilepsy treatment. For many people with epilepsy, however, the seizures themselves are secondary to what comes after: fatigue, memory loss and other issues that dramatically affect their lives.
About 70% of people with epilepsy report post-seizure (post-ictal) complications, ranging from fatigue to memory issues to headache. Post-ictal psychosis while rare, is perhaps the most dramatic of these. As many as 7% of people with temporal lobe epilepsy develop PIP, which can cause suicidal behavior or interpersonal violence. The condition requires immediate attention and treatment.
What if there was a tool to help with faster, more accurate diagnosis of both psychogenic seizures and epilepsy? And what if this tool was simpler and less expensive than video EEG, and available almost everywhere?
Children and teens with epilepsy who were treated with pharmaceutical cannabidiol (CBD) had much better seizure control than those who were treated with artisanal CBD, according to a preliminary study to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 72nd Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada, April 25 to May 1, 2020.
In retrospect, Pakistan's effort to reduce the treatment gap can appear painstakingly planned, like the blueprints for a shopping complex or a neighborhood. But the secret of the country's success is not rooted in elaborate planning. Nor did it rely on generous funding or government support.
Medication controls seizures in many people with epilepsy. The drugs are not a cure, but seizures don't always last a lifetime. After years without seizures, is it safe for some people to gradually come off their medications?
The six projects selected will be seeded with more than $100,000 in total to help the scientists generate preliminary investigative results to prepare applications for competitive federal and foundation awards.
A new study reveals how memory and abnormal brain activity are linked in patients with epilepsy who often report problems with memory. The data show that abnormal electrical pulses from specific brain cells in these patients are associated with a temporary kind of memory disruption called transient cognitive impairment.
Researchers report cases of five epilepsy patients who found better treatments for deleterious neuropsychiatric symptoms like anxiety and depression using data collected — while the patients were at home — from implanted neurostimulators placed in their brains to control their epileptic seizures.
Imagine not being able to drive, shower alone or even work because you are never quite sure when the next seizure will leave you incapacitated. Hope may be on the horizon for epilepsy patients who have had limited success with seizure drugs. In a study, led by a Johns Hopkins lead investigator, of 437 patients across 107 institutions in 16 countries, researchers found that the investigational drug cenobamate reduced seizures 55% on the two highest doses of this medication that were tested over the entire treatment period.
The five-year award will support the NINDS Human Genetics Resource Center, a collection of biological samples and corresponding demographic, clinical, and genetic data made available to qualified researchers around the world. This repository includes samples from subjects with various diseases – such as cerebrovascular disease, dystonia, epilepsy, motor neuron disease, parkinsonism, and Tourette Syndrome.
Keck Medicine of USC announces the launch of the USC Epilepsy Care Consortium, a unique partnership of six independent epilepsy centers serving patients in Los Angeles County, Orange County and the Central Valley.
In Mozambique, most people with epilepsy don’t seek treatment. So the country took on an intimidating challenge: Diagnose and treat more people by increasing awareness, reducing stigma, improving medication access, and partnering with traditional healers.
In work that could someday improve treatments for epilepsy, UT Southwestern scientists have published the first three-dimensional structure of a member of a large family of human proteins that carry charged particles – ions – across the cell membrane.
When an adult child is diagnosed with epilepsy, their parents face a wide array of social, emotional and financial issues, often with very little support. Striking a balance between caring for their child and allowing independence can be difficult and frustrating.
An international team of researchers led by Cleveland Clinic has developed new genetic-based epilepsy risk scores which may lay the foundation for a more personalized method of epilepsy diagnosis and treatment.
By studying the brain dynamics of 28 subjects with epilepsy, scientists demonstrated there is no evidence for a previously suspected warning sign for seizures known as “critical slowing down,” which refers to characteristic changes in the behavior of a complex system that approaches a theoretical tipping point; when this point is exceeded, there can be impactful and devastating changes. The researchers discuss their work in this week’s Chaos.
Epilepsy affects entire families, with impacts on caregivers' physical health, emotional functioning, social relationships, employment and finances. Caregivers and siblings are at risk for post-traumatic stress. Here's how one family works to channel their stress and frustration into helping others.
Epilepsy affects entire families. Research shows that uncontrolled seizures can lead to the development of PTSD in caregivers and siblings. Family members also may struggle with anxiety and depression, as well as guilt and fear.
It might seem that there’s no downside to successful epilepsy surgery. Who wouldn’t want to be free of seizures that limit their life? But there are challenges to seizure freedom after years of living with epilepsy. The “burden of normality” can disrupt a person’s life and their relationships.
Prof. Rafael Malach’s lab has revealed a neuronal mechanism central to free recall. Working with people hospitalized with epilepsy who had implanted electrodes, the team recorded, for the first time, “hippocampal ripples” – synchronized bursts of activity that Prof. Malach calls “a nerve-cell fireworks display.”
Combining seizure-preventing electrical stimulation with repetitive musical tones improves processing of sounds in the brain, according to new research. The discovery may provide relief for chronic ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and aid communication skills in people with autism. The first-of-its-kind study, published ahead of print in the Journal of Neurophysiology (JNP), was chosen as an APSselect article for August.
Worldwide, more than 50 million people are living with epilepsy. As many as 37 million are not receiving treatment, though it can cost as little as US$5 a year and eliminates seizures about two-thirds of the time. These findings and many others are published in "Epilepsy: A public health imperative", a report produced by ILAE, the World Health Organization and the International Bureau for Epilepsy.
The first surgery in New Jersey using the ROSA Brain robot was performed by Ronald Benitez, MD, chief of endovascular neurosurgery, Overlook Medical Center. Conventional brain surgery for epilepsy requires a craniotomy. Using ROSA Brain, surgeons make tiny holes in the skull through which they insert electrodes to record brain activity and help pinpoint exactly which part of the brain is responsible for seizures. The robot can also assist in deep brain stimulation, trans-nasal and ventricular endoscopy, and brain biopsies.
A team of scientists have designed and tested in mice a novel and promising therapeutic strategy for treating Lafora Disease (LD), a fatal form of childhood epilepsy. This new type of drug is a first-in-class therapy for LD and an example of precision medicine that has potential for treating other types of aggregate-based neurological diseases.