Epilepsy News

Epilepsy is a neurological condition in which an individual has recurrent seizures. It is also commonly referred to as seizure disorder. A seizure occurs when the nerve cells in the brain create signals in an unusual or excessive manner. Symptoms can range from involuntary movements to more mild changes in what the person feels or see. They can last from a few seconds to a few minutes.

The exact cause of epilepsy can be hard to pin down. In most people with epilepsy, there is no specific cause, and the disorder may be genetic. Other times, head injuries, stroke, brain infections or oxygen deprivation can lead to the development of epilepsy. It can develop early or later in life, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 2 million adults and about a half-million children have epilepsy.

Symptoms of Epilepsy

The severity and general nature of epilepsy can vary quite a bit from person to person. For some, the symptoms are quite mild and occur rarely, with people experiencing just a momentary disruption in one or more senses, for example. Others with epilepsy experience a loss of consciousness or appear to be staring off into space for a short period of time. And then there are full-body convulsions that are often considered seizures. People can also experience more than one type of seizure, and the frequency of seizures varies from person to person.

Treatment

Most seizures are treated with antiepileptic drugs. A variety of drugs are now available, and doctors may have a patient try one while carefully monitoring the person to determine the drug's effectiveness as well as the side effects. It often takes a few attempts to find the right medication or combination of medications to control seizures.

In instances where seizures originate in one very specific part of the brain, called the “seizure focus, ” surgery to remove the seizure focus may be an option. Other possibilities for epilepsy treatment include electrical nerve stimulation and a diet known as the ketogenic diet.

SOURCES: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Epilepsy Foundation

Date Posted
Article Title
5/24/2017
Compound in Pot Eases Severe Form of Epilepsy

Cannabidiol not associated with the 'high' of marijuana, researchers report

5/17/2017
Black, Hispanic Americans Less Likely to See a Neurologist

They more often wind up in the ER and face higher medical costs than white patients, study shows

5/2/2017
'Silent' Seizures Tied to Alzheimer's Symptoms

Researchers suggest they're a potential target for treating the disease

4/28/2017
Seizure Control Eases Life for Young Adults With Epilepsy

Those with uncomplicated cases do as well as their siblings without the disorder, study finds

4/25/2017
Seizure Control Key to Avoiding Sudden Death With Epilepsy

Tonic-clonic seizures are a major risk factor for this rare event, new guideline says

4/18/2017
Pot Ingredient Might Ease Severe Epilepsy

Cannabidiol appears to lessen 'drop seizures' for some Lennox-Gastaut syndrome patients, study finds

4/17/2017
Epilepsy: Another Potential Zika Threat to Babies

CDC team says up to half of infants exposed to the virus develop seizures

4/3/2017
Obesity in Early Pregnancy May Raise Child's Risk of Epilepsy

The heavier the mom, the greater the odds of the seizure disorder, study suggests

1/11/2017
Can Brain Scans Help Doctors Navigate Epilepsy Surgery?

Imaging offers less invasive way to protect regions involved in language and memory, researchers say

12/14/2016
'Epilepsy Gene Network' Identified in Brain

Preliminary discovery suggests new avenues for treatment, researcher says

12/6/2016
Rare Infant Seizure Disorder Often Missed

Parents, doctors may not recognize infantile spasms early enough to prevent brain damage, study finds

12/6/2016
Marijuana Derivative May Curb Tough-to-Treat Epilepsy

Cannabidiol lowered frequency, severity of seizures in trials, but without a 'high'

12/5/2016
When Sibling Has Epilepsy, Kids Worry

Protective feelings a very common response, study finds

12/5/2016
Study Sheds Light on Safety of Driving With Epilepsy

Those who had longer seizures during driving tests were more likely to have accidents

12/5/2016
11 Percent of Stroke Survivors Struggle With Epilepsy

Study found those who suffered more brain damage were more likely to have seizures afterwards

11/16/2016
Moms' Rheumatoid Arthritis May Be Linked to Epilepsy Risk in Kids

Researcher stressed that most children born to women with the autoimmune condition not at risk for seizures

10/11/2016
Chronic Disease in Mom May Be Linked to Newborns' Heart Disease

Risk highest among women born with heart defects or who developed type 2 diabetes, study suggests

9/1/2016
Newer Epilepsy Drugs May Be Safer During Pregnancy

Small British study says two drugs don't harm a child's mental development, but popular older one does

8/10/2016
Young People With Epilepsy Struggle on Many Fronts

New review finds children, young adults citing discrimination, lack of privacy, exclusion

8/1/2016
4 Out of 5 Kids With Epilepsy Have Other Health Problems: Study

Digestive disorders, headaches, attention-deficit disorder among the common issues

7/13/2016
Epilepsy May Triple ADHD Risk, Danish Study Finds

It also found possible link between fever-related seizures and the behavioral disorder in kids

4/14/2016
One-a-Day Anti-Seizure Drug Shows Promise for People With Epilepsy

Eslicarbazepine may make management easier, safer for people with the disorder, researchers say

4/6/2016
Study Sees No Link Between Common Epilepsy Drug, Certain Birth Defects

Large review found no greater risk of clubfoot, cleft palate, in babies of moms-to-be who used lamotrigine

4/1/2016
Type 1 Diabetes Linked to Epilepsy Risk, Study Suggests

But the research did not prove a cause-and-effect connection

3/31/2016
Even Controlled, Epilepsy May Still Cause Problems for Kids

Study finds social and educational issues may be a concern as children get older

3/9/2016
MS Patients May Be Prone to Other Chronic Illnesses, Study Finds

High blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and depression among common co-existing conditions

2/19/2016
Briviact Approved for Epileptic Seizures

Among people 16 and older

12/24/2015
Marijuana Chemical May Help Prevent Epileptic Seizures in Kids, Young Adults

Trial showed a benefit, but more study is needed, experts said

12/8/2015
Wearable Devices Aim to Monitor Epileptic Seizures

Three different approaches in development

12/7/2015
Marijuana Chemical Shows Promise for Hard-to-Treat Epilepsy in Kids

Preliminary studies link cannabidiol to seizure reduction, but drug interactions remain a concern

11/3/2015
Childhood Whooping Cough Tied to Small Rise in Epilepsy Risk

But chances of any one child getting the seizure illness remain low, one expert says

10/25/2015
Gene May Boost Death Risk for People With Mild Epilepsy

Discovery might allow doctors to screen patients and advise them of risk, researchers say

9/9/2015
Could Marijuana Chemical Help Ease Epilepsy?

Early research suggests yes, but laws limit access to the drug and its compounds

8/10/2015
Music Therapy Might Help People With Epilepsy

By studying brain wave activity, researchers noticed differences in how patients reacted to tunes

8/4/2015
FDA Approves First Pill Made by 3D Printing

Epilepsy drug Spritam may be one of many custom-made medicines to come that will use the technology

7/6/2015
Epilepsy Linked to Risks During Childbirth, Study Finds

But complications or maternal death during delivery are still rare, experts say

6/17/2015
Online Community Helps People Manage Epilepsy

Computer support aided most for tracking seizures, medication side effects, study says

4/20/2015
Medical Groups Issue Guidelines for Treating First Seizure

Epilepsy medication recommended to help stave off second attack

4/13/2015
Liquid Medical Marijuana Shows Promise Against Severe Epilepsy

Child and adult patients who took cannabidiol had big drop in seizure rates, study found

4/10/2015
Too Few Kids With Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy Get Flu Shot: Study

But they are more likely to develop flu-rated complications

2/27/2015
Epilepsy Surgery Gets High Marks From Patients in Survey

92 percent said it was worthwhile, with fewer seizures and higher quality-of-life

1/21/2015
Sleep Position Linked to Death Risk for Those With Epilepsy

Researchers see similarities with sudden infant death syndrome

1/15/2015
1 in 5 Adults With Epilepsy Also Has ADHD Symptoms: Study

Experts say that controlling seizures may help alleviate other psychiatric symptoms

12/17/2014
Neurologists Say Jury Still Out on Medical Marijuana's Use for Brain Disorders

Easing federal restrictions on pot research might help get answers, doctors say

11/6/2014
Kids With Epilepsy Face Higher Early Death Risk, Study Reports

Coordinated care is essential for reducing death rates, experts say

10/29/2014
High-Fat, Low-Carb Diet May Help With Tough-to-Treat Epilepsy

Regimens seem to cut down on seizures but are hard to stick to long-term, study shows

9/9/2014
Small Study Hints Fish Oil Might Ease Tough-to-Treat Epilepsy

People taking the low-dose omega-3 supplements had fewer monthly seizures, but more research is needed

6/16/2014
Mom's Epilepsy Drugs Appear Safe in Breast Milk

Babies' brains and IQs don't seem to be affected by mother's medication, study finds

4/22/2014
Two Drugs Work Equally Well for Epileptic Seizures in Kids: Study

Ativan, Valium both good options for emergency treatment, experts say

4/14/2014
Young People With Epilepsy Face Higher Injury Risk: Study

British researchers found increased odds of fractures, burns, medication poisoning