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Specific steps can be taken to reduce the risk of potentially fatal reactions to anti-seizure medications, researchers report in a new review.

Performing blood tests, asking patients about risk factors and modifying dosages all can reduce reaction risk for drugs that millions of Americans take for

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • June 24, 2024
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  • A class of blood pressure medications appears to also help lower seniors’ risk of developing epilepsy, a new study finds.

    The drugs, called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), might prevent epilepsy in people at highest risk of the disease, researchers reported June 17 in t...

    Newer epilepsy drugs taken while pregnant won't affect the creative thinking of children, an effect that had been observed in older medications, a new study reports.

    Researchers found no difference in creativity scores at age 4 between kids of mothers with epilepsy and those of...

    Climate change is likely to make brain conditions like stroke, migraine, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis even worse, a new review warns.

    The potential effects of a changing climate is likely to be substantial on a range of neurological conditions, researche...

    Two-thirds of kids who suffer a subtle type of epileptic seizure go undiagnosed when they seek emergency room treatment, new research shows.

    “We do not know how many people are walking around with seizures that they are unaware of, and we are unaware of," said researcher Jacqueline French, a professor of neurolo...

    Add one more damaging consequence of sleep apnea to the list: New research suggests it's related to late-life epilepsy.

    Late-onset epilepsy is defined as seizures that tend to begin only after the age of 60.

    The condition might be related to underlying heart or brain illnesses, noted study co-author Dr. Rebecca Gottesman, chie...

    Some people with tough-to-treat epilepsy might benefit if doctors target a brain region newly linked to the disorder, a new study suggests.

    Seizures declined by 83% after a patient underwent surgery that removed almost all of the fasciola cinereum, a previously overlooked regio...

    A common antiseizure drug used to treat epilepsy, migraines and bipolar disorder does not appear to increase the risk of autism for kids exposed to it in the womb, a new study says.

    Topiramate does not contribute to any ri...

    Perhaps by reducing anxiety, a service dog can help reduce seizures in people with tough-to-treat epilepsy, a new study finds.

    A group of 25 study participants had an average 31% fewer seizures after months of owning a service dog trained to help people with epilepsy.

    And seven of those patients experienced a 50% to 100% reduction in seizures, researchers report in the Feb. 28 issue...

    Neurologist Dr. Deborah Holder says she often has parents come to her with kids who've experienced what they call "funny spells."

    “Sometimes I start talking to a parent and find out the parent has [also] had 'funny spells' for years, but had no idea they were epileptic seizures," said Holder, who practices a...

    People with epilepsy suffer quicker declines in thinking than people without the brain disorder, particularly if they also have risk factors like high blood pressure or diabetes, a new study finds.

    The difference was significant: Over the course of the 14-year study, those with epilepsy experienced a 65% to 70% faster decline in memory and thinking skills.

    On top of that, having ris...

    Black, Hispanic and low-income kids are less likely to receive surgery that can treat their drug-resistant epilepsy, a new study finds.

    Researchers discovered that children on anti-seizure drugs who received vagus nerve stimulation were 35% more likely to be alive after 10 years, and those who also had cranial surgery were 83% more likely to be alive.

    But White children were much mo...

    Teenagers with epilepsy are more likely to have an eating disorder than those not suffering from the brain disease, a new study shows.

    About 8.4% of children ages 10 to 19 treated at a Boston epilepsy clinic had eating disorders, three times the national average of 2.7% of teens with an eating disorder, researchers found.

    “Adolescents with epilepsy may feel a loss of control becau...

    A seizure doesn't always look like what you see in the movies, but a new survey finds most Americans don't know what the more subtle signs of seizures are.

    “Anything that interrupts your brain's circuit can cause seizures, from tumors, infections and strokes to high or low blood sugar, or glucose levels, to inherited genetic features. And different types of seizures can present with doz...

    For people with tough-to-treat epilepsy, seizures can be both frightening and dangerous, but a new experimental pill may bring significant relief to over one-third of them.

    Dubbed XEN1101, the new drug reduced the frequency of seizures by more than 50%, or even eliminated them, in some patients with focal epilepsy who did not respond to an average of six other drugs.

    "I am predictin...

    Before learning they had epilepsy, about 5% of people who have what's called focal epilepsy had a seizure while driving, new research suggests.

    “Seizures while driving pose substantial risks for those experiencing them and for others on the road,” said study author Dr. Jacob Pellinen, of the University...

    People with a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's disease may have an increased risk of epilepsy, a new study says. And folks with a certain type of epilepsy may have higher odds of developing Alzheimer's disease.

    Having Alzheimer's was linked to a 5.3% increased risk of generalized epilepsy, researchers report in the journal Neurology. This involves seizures that occur from b...

    For people with epilepsy, living in lower-income neighborhoods is associated with worse mental functioning, new research suggests.

    For the study, the researchers looked at the memory, thinking ability and mental health of people with epilepsy, and found differences based on where they lived. Brain-health issues were more common among those from disadvantaged areas with fewer educational a...

    Many adults with epilepsy have agoraphobia, or a fear of public places, new research suggests.

    That impacts quality of life and is something doctors should include in other screening that looks for anxiety or depression, the investigators said.

    "We know that agoraphobia can lead to delays in patient care because of a reluctance to go out in public, which includes appointments with ...

    American adults who have epilepsy and are Black or Hispanic are less likely than white adults to be prescribed the latest medications, according to new research.

    “While finding the right medication is often a trial-and-error process that is based on the individual, studies have shown that use of newer medications improves outcomes, and some newer medications have fewer side effects,” ...

    Growing numbers of Americans are suffering prolonged, life-threatening seizures known as status epilepticus, and Black people are nearly twice as likely to experience these seizures as white people.

    These are the main findings from new research looking at hospitalizations for status epilepticus from 2010 to 2019 across the United States. Status epilepticus refers to ...

    Seizures tend to get progressively worse over time in people with epilepsy, and a new study in mice suggests why that might be the case.

    Seizures appear to prompt the brains of mice to produce more myelin, the insulating layer around nerve cells, researchers from Stanford University found.

    This essentially rewires the brain, creating a vicious cycle in which more seizures cause more...

    Costs for epilepsy medications in the United States are skyrocketing, outpacing inflation and straining federal insurers Medicare and Medicaid, according to new research.

    Spending on antiseizure medications more than doubled in eight years for the government insurers, largely because of third-generation and brand-name drugs, the study found.

    "While it's very important that Medicare ...

    Dementia patients who suffer from seizures tend to decline faster and die younger, according to a new study that urges caregivers to watch for these sudden brain changes.

    "Our hope is that controlling seizures by prescribing antiseizure medications to these patients will slow down the progression of cognitive impairment," said

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • December 2, 2022
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  • A bout of COVID-19, even a milder one, may raise the risk of having a seizure in the next six months, a large new study suggests.

    Researchers found that of over 300,000 Americans who had suffered a case of COVID-19 or the flu, COVID sufferers were 55% more likely to be diagnosed with a seizure or epilepsy in the next six months.

    And a deeper look showed that the increased risk was a...

    Weight-loss surgery can change a person's life and health, but new research warns it might also come with a slight risk of developing epilepsy.

    People who had the surgery had a 45% relative increased risk of developing epilepsy, compared with people who did not have the surgery. Moreover, those who suffered a stroke aft...

    Folic acid, a B vitamin that's used widely to fortify foods and lower the risk of birth defects, may carry a hidden risk for those who have to take huge quantities of it: A new study shows those folks were more likely to get COVID-19 and to die from it.

    “We examined whether COVID-19 diagnosis and death were related to the large doses of folic acid -- five times the safe upper limit -- p...

    Pregnant women with epilepsy battle anxiety and depression more often than their peers who aren't pregnant or don't have epilepsy, a new study reveals.

    "The good news is we did not find that pregnant women with epilepsy were any more likely to have episodes of major depression than the other two groups," said st...

    Managing epilepsy is an increasingly expensive process in the United States, with prices of brand-name anti-seizure drugs nearly quadrupling over eight years, a new study finds.

    From 2010 to 2018, the cost of brand-named epilepsy drugs, including meds like Vimpat (lacosamide), rose 277% overall, researchers found. Over the same period, the cost of generic drugs dropped 42%.

    "We as ...

    There's good news for women with a mental health condition: Taking antidepressants early in pregnancy doesn't increase a baby's risk of having epilepsy or seizures, researchers say.

    "The findings of this study are very important," said study co-author Ayesha Sujan of Indiana University Bloomington. "Pregnancy can be a trying time, and the addition of

  • By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
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  • May 12, 2022
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  • With summer comes warm weather and swimming. But for some people, knowing how to swim may not be enough to ensure their safety.

    That's because certain medical conditions bump up the risk for drowning in a big way, according to a new Canadian study.

    About one in three adults and children over age 10 who drowned in Canada between 2007 and 2016 had a chronic health condition, the stud...

    Many women with epilepsy have breakthrough seizures when they get pregnant, and researchers say they've figured out why.

    Their new study shows that pregnancy can trigger steep drops in blood levels of certain antiepileptic drugs soon after conception.

    "When it comes to...

    A brain implant that helps control severe epilepsy in adults may do the same for children who suffer from unrelenting seizures, new research suggests.

    The study is one of the first to examine the responsive neurostimulation (RNS) system in children.

    RNS has already been approved b...

    Every year in the United States, a few hundred children die suddenly and without explanation. Now researchers have found gene variants that may contribute to some of those tragic deaths.

    The hope, experts said, is that understanding the underlying mechanisms will eventually lead to ways to save lives.

    Since the 1990s, the term

  • Amy Norton HealthDay Reporter
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  • December 28, 2021
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  • Kids with autism have low levels of a protein that quiets overactive brain cells, which may explain why so many have epilepsy, according to a new study.

    Because the protein can be detected in cerebrospinal fluid, it may have promise as a marker to diagnose autism and as a potential treatment target for the epilepsy tha...

    Kids with severe epilepsy may take multiple medications and follow special diets, yet still suffer seizures. Now a small study suggests medical marijuana may sometimes help when other therapies fail.

    British researchers found that medical pot slashed seizures by almost 90% and reduced use of traditional medications.

    But at least one outside expert cautions that it's way too early fo...

    Genetic testing can help guide management and treatment of unexplained epilepsy in children, new research suggests.

    "A genetic diagnosis impacted medical management for nearly three out of four children in our study," said study author Dr. Isabel Haviland. She's a postdoctoral research fellow in neurology/neurobiology at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

    In the ...

    People with a longtime history of epilepsy show signs of rapid brain aging that may raise their odds for developing dementia down the road.

    This is the key finding of new research reporting that the brains of people with epilepsy that began in childhood appear to be about 10 years older than the brains of people without a history of this seizure disorder.

    Individuals with epilepsy w...

    Claire Wiedmaier experiences epileptic seizures so bad that she's broken teeth while in their grip.

    "I have some fake teeth. I broke my two bottom front teeth," said Wiedmaier, 23, of Ankeny, Iowa, who these days can expect to have at least four seizures a month.

    Knowing when to expect a seizure would be a big help to her.

    "It would be nice to know, because then I could get so...

    Sit. Fetch. Stay.

    Detect seizure.

    Yes, you read that correctly.

    While many dogs are adept at following basic instructions such as "sit" and "roll over" with some practice and the promise of a treat, new research shows dogs can detect seizures by scent up to an hour before they occur, potentially saving their human's life.

    An estimated 3.4 million Americans have epilepsy,...

    Implanted brain stimulation devices used to treat epilepsy won't turn patients into someone they don't recognize, a small study shows.

    "We found that the brain implants did not transform patients' sense of self or personality. Neither the long-term implantation of the electronic device in their brain, nor the electrical stimulation to modulate their brain function, led to changes in their...

    Danish researchers have found genetic causes for epilepsy in half of children they studied and said half of those could be treated with targeted therapies.

    That's the upshot of genetic testing of 290 children born between 2006 and 2011. Some had been diagnosed with epilepsy. Others had had seizures along with a high temperature; they were either long seizures or consciousness was not rega...

    Since 2008, anti-seizure drugs have carried a warning that they may increase users' suicide risk. But a new analysis finds no evidence of such a risk with newer medications.

    Researchers found that five medications approved since 2008 showed no link to suicide risk among patients who participated in clinical trials of the drugs.

    The findings, they said, argue against the "blanket" wa...

    While people with ADHD experience the inattention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity that are hallmarks of the disorder, they also may need to be aware of their higher risk for many physical diseases.

    New research has identified higher risks in nervous system, respiratory, musculoskeletal and metabolic diseases among individuals who have ADHD.

    "Identifying co-occurring physical diseas...

    Long-term use of anti-seizure medications in babies who had seizures soon after birth may not be necessary and could be harmful, a new study suggests.

    Newborns who have seizures after birth are at risk of long-term conditions such as developmental delays, cerebral palsy or epilepsy, so they're given anti-seizure medication to treat the electrical brain disturbances that cause their seizur...

    New research gives insight into why people with epilepsy are at increased risk of sudden death during sleep.

    The study found that both sleep and epileptic seizures work together to slow heart rate, and that seizures also disrupt the body's natural regulation of sleep-related changes.

    These factors can sometimes lead to sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), which caused the 20...

    People who suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) have a significantly higher risk for stroke for years afterward, U.K. researchers say.

    Previous studies have linked brain injury with a long-term risk of neurological diseases including dementia, Parkinson's and epilepsy, and it's been suggested that it's also an independent risk factor for stroke.

    This new review of 18 studies from f...

    CBD oil used to curb seizures in a 2-year-old with epilepsy may be linked to the boy developing signs of a very early puberty, a British case study reports.

    The incident is outlined in the April 15 issue of the journal BMJ Case Reports.

    Doctors reported that since birth the boy had experienced about 20 seizures a day and they were increasing over time. Prior research has su...

    Toddlers whose mothers took certain epilepsy drugs during pregnancy are unlikely to have development delays, researchers say. The study may help clear up lingering doubts about use of the drugs by moms-to-be.

    Controlling seizures is crucial, of course.

    "Having a seizure during pregnancy may not only harm the mother but possibly the baby as well, so seizure control is an important pa...

    Rising out-of-pocket costs for neurological tests could lead many Americans to forgo them, researchers warn.

    Their study, published online Dec. 23 in the journal Neurology, analyzed neurology care costs for more than 3.7 million people in a large private insurance claims database.

    They found that average, inflation-adjusted out-of-pocket costs for diagnostic tests rose by a...