Posts Tagged seizure

[BLOG POST] Alcohol, Seizures and Brain Injury  

A drunk driving accident.  A fight at a bar after a night of drinking.  Many brain injury survivors received their brain injuries while under the influence of alcohol.  In fact, studies have shown that between 35% and 81% of people who received a traumatic brain injury had been drinking at the time of their injury.  Doctors and therapists routinely recommend that survivors abstain from alcohol after a brain injury but some survivors ignore this advice.  But drinking after a brain injury has a new and more dangerous risk than before, namely post-injury seizures.

In general, brain injury survivors are more prone to developing a seizure disorder than are people without brain injuries.  Depending on the severity and location of a traumatic brain injury, research shows that post-traumatic brain injury seizure rates are between 2-50%.  Similarly, post-stroke seizure rates are between 5-20%.  Both of these are significantly higher than the seizure rate in the general population.

Unfortunately, alcohol can raise both the likelihood and frequency of post-injury seizures.  Alcohol lowers the threshold for seizures to occur, making a seizure more likely to happen.  For those already taking anti-seizure medication, alcohol can interfere with the performance of the medication, causing the medication to be ineffective and allowing more seizures to occur.  As a seizure can be a potentially life-threatening medical issue, anything that raises the likelihood of seizures should be avoided.

Overall, it is smart for many reasons to avoid consuming alcohol after an injury.  But the risk of seizures is an important reason which should not be ignored.

Learn about brain injury treatment services at the Transitional Learning Center! Visit us at: http://tlcrehab.org/

Source: Alcohol, Seizures and Brain Injury | The Transitional Learning Center’s Blog

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[WEB SITE] Compound derived from marijuana interacts with antiepileptic drugs

New research published in Epilepsia, a journal of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), suggests that an investigational neurological treatment derived from cannabis may alter the blood levels of commonly used antiepileptic drugs. It is important for clinicians to consider such drug interactions during treatment of complex conditions.

Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound developed from the cannabis plant, is being studied as a potential anticonvulsant, and it has demonstrated effectiveness in animal models of epilepsy and in humans. An ongoing open label study (Expanded Access Program) conducted by investigators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham is testing the potential of CBD as a therapy for children and adults with difficult to control epilepsy. The study includes 39 adults and 42 children, all of whom receive CBD.

Because all of the participants are also taking other seizure drugs while they are receiving the investigational therapy, investigators checked the blood levels of their other seizure drugs to see if they changed. “With any new potential seizure medication, it is important to know if drug interactions exist and if there are labs that should be monitored while taking a specific medication,” said lead author Tyler Gaston, MD.

Dr. Gaston and her colleagues found that there were significant changes in levels of the drugs clobazam (and its active metabolite N-desmethylclobazam), topiramate, and rufinamide in both adults and children, and zonisamide and eslicarbazepine in adults only. Except for clobazam/desmethylclobazam, however, the drug levels did not change outside of the normally accepted range. In addition, adult participants in the study taking clobazam reported sedation more frequently.

Tests also showed that participants taking valproate and CBD had higher ALT and AST (liver function tests) compared with participants not taking valproate. Very high ALT and AST indicate abnormal liver function, but significant ALT and AST elevation occurred only in a mall number of participants (4 children and 1 adult), and the levels returned to normal after discontinuation of valproate and CBD.

“While the interaction between CBD and clobazam has been established in the literature, there are currently no published human data on CBD’s potential interactions with other seizure medications,” said Dr. Gaston. “However, given the open label and naturalistic follow-up design of this study, our findings will need to be confirmed under controlled conditions.”

The findings emphasize the importance of monitoring blood levels of antiepileptic drugs as well as liver function during treatment with CBD. “A perception exists that since CBD is plant based, that it is natural and safe; and while this may be mostly true, our study shows that CBD, just like other antiepileptic drugs, has interactions with other seizure drugs that patients and providers need to be aware of,” said Dr. Gaston.

Article: Interactions between cannabidiol and commonly used antiepileptic drugs, Tyler E. Gaston, E. Martina Bebin, Gary R. Cutter, Yuliang Liu, Jerzy P. Szaflarski, and for the UAB CBD Program, Epilepsia, doi: 10.1111/epi.13852, published online 6 August 2017.

Source: Compound derived from marijuana interacts with antiepileptic drugs

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[BLOG POST] Top 50 Epilepsy Blogs & Websites on the Web – Seizure Blog

Top Epilepsy Blogs

Rank

Blog Name

Facebook Fans

Twitter Followers

Alexa Rank

1

Epilepsy Research UK

Epilepsy Research UK

epilepsyresearch.org.uk/news

London

About Blog – Epilepsy Research UK supports ground-breaking independent research into the causes, treatment and prevention of epilepsy to help change the future for people with this condition.
Frequency – about 2 posts per week

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17,126 7,371 1,775,877
2

EpilepsyU

EpilepsyU

epilepsyu.com

About Blog – Epilepsy U was created with YOU in mind. A place to meet and a place to learn about the nation’s number one neurological disorder, epilepsy.
Frequency – about 4 posts per week

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35,201 3,647 2,388,104
3

Epilepsy News Today

Epilepsy News Today

epilepsynewstoday.com

About Blog – Epilepsy News Today is a digital platform providing daily updates on research, science and advice news for Epilepsy patients and caregivers.
Frequency – about 2 posts per week

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190 43 5,154,651
4

Neurology Times | Epilepsy and Seizure

Neurology Times | Epilepsy and Seizure

neurologytimes.com/epilepsy-..

About Blog – An authoritative, timely resource for clinicians on common neurological disorders, including epilepsy and seizure, and more. Neurology Times offers easy-to-read, up-to-date research and clinical guidance for neurologists and other clinicians caring for patients with neurological disorders.
Frequency – about 4 posts per month

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2,055 1,682 1,057,158
5

ScienceDaily | Epilepsy Research News

ScienceDaily | Epilepsy Research News

sciencedaily.com/news/mind_b..

Rockville, MD

About Blog – Read the latest medical research on epilepsy and seizures including new treatments and potential cures under development.
Frequency – about 4 posts per month

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1,760,936 211,698 4,818
6

Medical News Today | Epilepsy News

Medical News Today | Epilepsy News

medicalnewstoday.com/categor..

United States

About Blog – Epilepsy is relatively common – it is a group of disorders that involve recurrent seizures. Epilepsy can start at any age, but it mostly begins during childhood. Treatment involves using epilepsy drugs to control seizures. In rare cases, surgery may be used to either remove a specific area of the brain that is affected, or install an electrical device to assist in controlling seizures.
Frequency – about 3 posts per month

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195,884 78,947 6,587
7

nature.com | Epilepsy

nature.com | Epilepsy

nature.com/subjects/epilepsy

London

About Blog – Latest news and research from Nature.com on the topic of Epilepsy. Nature Research is a portfolio of high quality products and services across the life, physical, chemical and applied sciences, including journals, online databases and researcher services, which are dedicated to serving the scientific community.
Frequency – about 2 posts per week

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654,228 1,803,143 894
8

News Medical | Epilepsy News

News Medical | Epilepsy News

news-medical.net/?tag=/epilepsy

About Blog – News-Medical.Net aims to segment, profile and distribute medical news to the widest possible audience of potential beneficiaries worldwide and to provide a forum for ideas, debate and learning, and to facilitate interaction between all parts of the medical health sciences community worldwide.
Frequency – about 4 posts per week

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266,779 11,564 16,620
9

Neuroscience News | Epilepsy

Neuroscience News | Epilepsy

neurosciencenews.com/neurosc..

Houston, TX

About Blog – Neuroscience News provides research news for neuroscience, neurology, psychology, brain science and cognitive sciences.
Frequency – about 1 posts per week

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96,555 91,177 69,672
10

Epilepsy Society

Epilepsy Society

epilepsysociety.org.uk/blog

UK

About Blog – We are the leading national epilepsy medical charity working for everyone affected by epilepsy. Our vision is a full life for everyone affected by epilepsy. We want everyone affected by epilepsy to have the best opportunity for a full life as free from seizures as possible.
Frequency – about 2 posts per month

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50,274 19,386 263,546
11

Living Well With Epilepsy

Living Well With Epilepsy

livingwellwithepilepsy.com/blog

Philly Area

About Blog – Living Well With Epilepsy is dedicated to supporting people with epilepsy, increasing epilepsy awareness and benefiting organizations that further epilepsy research.
Frequency – about 1 posts per week

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2,691 4,309 6,897,069
12

Epilepsy Action | Epilepsy information and advice

Epilepsy Action | Epilepsy information and advice

epilepsy.org.uk

Leeds, UK

About Blog – Epilepsy Action is the working name of British Epilepsy Association. We care about people with epilepsy and their families. We listen to them, we respond to their needs, we reflect their ambitions and we understand their lives.
Frequency – about 2 posts per week

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67,978 22,933 345,664
13

My Purple Friends

My Purple Friends

mypurplefriends.com

Lexington, KY

About Blog – We art My Purple Friends provide free education seminars in libraries, schools, public venue and places of employment. We utilize social media and the corporation’s website to provide facts, statistics and other related data on causes, current research and new treatment options. Our programs include helping patients locate Neurologist and Epileptologists in their area.
Frequency – about 2 posts per month

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14

The Epilepsy Network (TEN)

The Epilepsy Network (TEN)

theepilepsynetwork.com/news

United States

About Blog – The Epilepsy Network is a worldwide community of people with epilepsy, family and friends, uniting to share experiences, learn about epilepsy and more!
Frequency – about 1 posts per week

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25,948 3,990 n/a
15

Epilepsy South Central Ontario

Epilepsy South Central Ontario

epilepsysco.org

About Blog – Epilepsy South Central Ontario is a non-profit charitable organization that provides education, information and support to families and individuals. We are dedicated to improving the quality of life for persons living with epilepsy. Epilepsy South Central Ontario is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people living with seizure disorders through counseling and support services.
Frequency – about 1 posts per week

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3,549 1,830 3,619,876
16

Epilepsy Foundation

Epilepsy Foundation

epilepsychicago.org

Chicago, IL

About Blog – The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.
Frequency – about 1 post per month

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6,524 4,790 1,578,477
17

Epilepsy Talk

Epilepsy Talk

epilepsytalk.com

About Blog – Hi, I am Phyllis. I had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.
Frequency – about 2 posts per week

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n/a n/a 1,076,073
18

RSC Blog

RSC Blog

rscdiagnosticservices.com/blog

Richardson, TX

About Blog – RSC Diagnostic Services delivers premier EEG solutions and state-of-the-art equipment specifically geared for the needs of physician practices and acute care facilities. We at RSC are committed to enhancing patients’ quality of care and improving the ability to diagnose and treat seizures and epilepsy.
Frequency – about 3 posts per week

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362 59 1,507,788
19

Beyond the Ion Channel | The ILAE Genetics Commission Blog

Beyond the Ion Channel | The ILAE Genetics Commission Blog

epilepsygenetics.net

Kiel, Germany

About Blog – Epilepsies or seizure disorders are common diseases of the brain. Many types of epilepsies have a genetic etiology. Finding these genes and characterizing them will lead to insights about the physiology of epilepsies and -hopefully- novel treatment options. In our blog “Beyond the Ion Channel”, we try to make our research more understandable, digestable and interpretable.
Frequency – about 2 posts per month

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n/a 463 3,773,631
20

KetoVie

KetoVie

ketovie.com/blog

About Blog – Families suffering with epilepsy or other disorders want their “everyday” back and to whatever degree they can get it. At KetoVie we provide safe, reliable, effective, and convenient ketogenic formulas for the dietary management of intractable epilepsy and low carbohydrate convenient ketogenic friendly foods.
Frequency – about 1 post per month

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608 18 5,000,596
21

National Association of Epilepsy Centers

National Association of Epilepsy Centers

naec-epilepsy.org

About Blog – NAEC supports epilepsy centers in delivering quality comprehensive care to people with epilepsy, by setting standards of care, advocating for access to high quality epilepsy center services, and providing knowledge and resources to its member centers.
Frequency – about 1 post per month

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n/a n/a 5,106,087
22

Dealing with epilepsy

Dealing with epilepsy

codrinpo.com/category/blog

Namur, Belgium

About Blog – I’m Codrin and I write about epilepsy in my day-to-day life and more.
Frequency – about 1 post per month

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n/a 1,082 6,336,264
23

Journal of Epilepsy Research

Journal of Epilepsy Research

j-epilepsy.org

About Blog – This journal is an official journal of the Korean Epilepsy society. This journal publishes research articles in epilepsy and epilepsy-related fields including clinical and basic researches.
Frequency – about 2 posts per month

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n/a n/a 7,005,363
24

Gbm-em Foundation

Gbm-em Foundation

blog.gbm-em.org

About Blog – The Gabriel BEBONBECHEM Foundation for Epilepsy & Mental Wellbeing (GBF).
Frequency – about 2 posts per month

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n/a n/a 8,024,445
25

Sahara Care Blog | Epilepsy

Sahara Care Blog | Epilepsy

blog.saharacare.com/category..

About Blog – Sahara care provider offering services for people with complex needs, learning disabilities and physical disabilities.
Frequency – about 1 post per month

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319 53 10,403,659
26

Epilepsy Waikato Charitable Trust

Epilepsy Waikato Charitable Trust

ewct.org.nz/blog

About Blog – Epilepsy Waikato Charitable Trust comprises a trust board, staff, and members and their supporters. EWCT works collaboratively with clients, community groups, schools, and medical specialists.
Frequency – about 1 post per month

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389 n/a 10,978,104
27

calvin’s story

calvin's story

calvinsstory.com

About Blog – Calvin’s Story is the blog I write about being the mother of my eight year old boy Calvin, who has intractable epilepsy. My mission is to increase epilepsy awareness, dispel the myths, promote understanding and inspire empathy, all in hope of a cure..
Frequency – about 3 posts per week

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822 n/a 12,873,492
28

EPILEPSY IS A BITCH

EPILEPSY IS A BITCH

epilepsyisabitch.co.uk/blog

About Blog – I am Torie. Growing up with epilepsy I had no-one to talk to about the condition. I had brain surgery in 2013 and my epilepsy is now SO much more controlled! This is a blog to enable those experiencing epilepsy to share their experiences, have a laugh, slag off the condition and educate the public.
Frequency – about 1 posts per week

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n/a n/a 16,323,149
29

The Epilepsy Journey

The Epilepsy Journey

tiffanykairos.com

About Blog – I am a happily-ever-after wife, an Epilepsy Diagnosee, Advocate for Epilepsy Awareness through The Epilepsy Journey.
Frequency – about 1 post per month

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n/a 3,252 16,650,736
30

Epilepsy, Pregnancy, Motherhood & Me

Epilepsy, Pregnancy, Motherhood & Me

fairyfaye1986.weebly.com

London, UK

About Blog – My names Faye, This is my story of Pregnancy, Motherhood & Epilepsy.
Frequency – about 1 post per month

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n/a 1,147 17,802,544
31

Triangle Area- Epilepsy Parent Support Group

Triangle Area- Epilepsy Parent Support Group

triangleepilepsyparents.com/..

About Blog – This group is for supporting each other as parents of children with epilepsy. As a group we would like to raise awareness about epilepsy and how it effects our children and the family unit. And offer hope to those who are also navigating through life living with epilepsy.
Frequency – about 1 post per month

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507 n/a 18,133,523
32

telmenow.com – Epilepsy

telmenow.com - Epilepsy

www.telmenow.com/category/e..

UK

About Blog – This website will provide a superb source of information through the inclusion of expert reviews, the latest news articles and blog posts, all with a clear focus on assistive technologies and the needs of the consumer regarding epilepsy.
Frequency – about 2 posts per month

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5,237 1,381 n/a
33

Insights Into Epilepsy

Insights Into Epilepsy

insightsintoepilepsy.org

Cleveland, Ohio

About Blog – The Epilepsy Association recognizes the unique needs of individuals with epilepsy. Epilepsy Association provides ongoing case management and counseling for individuals with epilepsy who struggle to maintain a stable living situation.
Frequency – about 1 post per month

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1,277 2,196 n/a
34

In Megan’s Shoes

In Megan's Shoes

inmegansshoes.com

California, USA

About Blog – People can develop Epilepsy at any age, but I, myself, was diagnosed with Epilepsy in my first year of college.
Frequency – about 1 post per month

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1,658 878 n/a
35

Seizure Clusters Connect

Seizure Clusters Connect

seizureclustersconnect.com/r..

About Blog – Seizure Clusters Connect is a community of support that provides education and resources for individuals affected by seizure clusters.
Frequency – about 1 post per month

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34,578 752 n/a
36

Friendz 4 Comfort

Friendz 4 Comfort

friendz4comfort.com

About Blog – Having a disability is something no one wants to deal with, but we have to realize that we are not alone. Having epilepsy myself, I have found it very useful to talk to people who have epilepsy too. It gives me a sense of comfort that my family cannot.
Frequency – about 2 posts per month

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495 247 n/a
37

Changing Focus: Epilepsy

Changing Focus: Epilepsy

cf-epilepsy.com

Dallas, TX

About Blog – Founder Whitney Petit was diagnosed with epilepsy as an infant. Now an adult living with the neurological condition, she shares her journey through blogging and photos. Giving advice and support, she lets the world know you can achieve anything while living with epilepsy.
Frequency – about 1 post per month

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587 1,708 n/a
38

Epilepsy Dad

Epilepsy Dad

epilepsydad.com

Philadelphia, PA

About Blog – This blog provides me with an outlet for the thoughts and emotions that I imagine are common for parents of epileptic kids or parents of children with any disability. I wanted to share my experiences because I’m hoping my words will help other people going through the same thing so they know that they are not alone.
Frequency – about 3 posts per month

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294 515 n/a
39

Finding Freedom with Epilepsy

Finding Freedom with Epilepsy

findingfreedomwithepilepsy.w..

About Blog – Freya is the founder of Finding Freedom with Epilepsy. A blog supporting those dealing directly and indirectly with epilepsy in their bid to find freedom with the condition.
Frequency – about 1 posts per week

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40

Epilepsy Foundation

Epilepsy Foundation

epilepsyfoundation.org.nz

About Blog – The Epilepsy Foundation of NZ Inc provides information and support to people with epilepsy and their families.
Frequency – about 1 post per month

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1,551 n/a n/a
41

Living with Epilepsy

Living with Epilepsy

httpmariabracale.blog/blog

Block Island, Rhode Island

About Blog – My name is Maria. I welcome you to my blog on “Living with Epilepsy” “let’s talk about it”. We can only learn from one another and the story we carry deep inside our soul.
Frequency – about 2 posts per week

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n/a 182 n/a
42

Seizure & Epilepsy | Seize Lifes Moments

Seizure & Epilepsy | Seize Lifes Moments

seizelifesmoments.com

San Diego, CA

About Blog – Hi, I’m Melissa. A life enthusiast and an Epilepsy Advocate! I was 25 years old when I was diagnosed with Epilepsy. This is where I document my journey and hope to inspire you to support Epilepsy and how to “seize life’s moments”.
Frequency – about 1 post per month

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27 352 n/a
43

De Morbo Sacro

De Morbo Sacro

demorbosacro.com

Toronto, Ontario

About Blog – The adventures of a non-medical doctor “of something” with refractory epilepsy.
Frequency – about 2 posts per week

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333 6 n/a
44

Our Purple Elephant

Our Purple Elephant

ourpurpleelephant.com

About Blog – My name is Dodie. Epilepsy has affected so many life choices, big and small. This blog is a place for me to share our experiences, our choices, our emotions, and our story.
Frequency – about 3 posts per month

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70 n/a n/a
45

The Epileptic Man

The Epileptic Man

epilepticman.com

Manchester, England

About Blog – My name is Joe Stevenson, I’m the writer around here and I’ve got epilepsy. Welcome to The Epileptic Man whether you’ve got epilepsy or not, you’re quite welcome to rest here while I tell you what this website is about.
Frequency – about 3 posts per month

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46

A Day in the Life of Reagan Leigh

A Day in the Life of Reagan Leigh

reaganleigh.blogspot.com

About Blog – Reagan had her first cluster of seizures. She was diagnosed at 6 months old with Infantile Spasms and 2 years later with Mitochondrial Disease. Life has been a roller coaster for us and our baby girl but we’ve been blessed with wonderful friends and family to help us though this!
Frequency – about 6 posts per week

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47

Madie’s World

Madie's World

madiesblog-jamie.blogspot.com

Connecticut, USA

About Blog – I am just a mom. A mom to a very special little girl who is my heart and soul. I try my best. Madie has been dealing with seizures since she was young. Doctors do not know the cause of her seizures. She is developmentally delayed and at 6 years old still unable to walk on her own…What the future hold no one knows. This is madies story and kinda mine too thanks for reading.
Frequency – about 2 posts per month

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n/a 17 n/a
48

Life at Full Volume

Life at Full Volume

lifeatfullvolume.net

About Blog – My name is Sita, and I am a 27 year old who wants to make a community for people living with epilepsy.
Frequency – about 1 post per month

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n/a n/a n/a
49

Becoming a Mum… with Epilepsy

Becoming a Mum... with Epilepsy

becomingamumwithepilepsy.blo..

About Blog – My name is Clair. I have epilepsy, although it is reasonably well controlled it has not gone away, my very infrequant seizures impact on my everyday life. So I have got involved with the Epilepsy Action pregnancy campaign and written this blog in the hope it will help even just a few women.
Frequency – about 1 post per month

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Source: Top 50 Epilepsy Blogs & Websites on the Web | Seizure Blog

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 [WEB SITE] EpiWatch 

EpiWatch
CURE and Johns Hopkins have just launched an exciting opportunity for epilepsy patients to participate in the EpiWatch research study. Downloading EpiWatch for Apple Watch and iPhone can help patients manage epilepsy by tracking seizures, medications, and possible triggers and side effects. EpiWatch provides a dashboard allowing access to data that can be shared with a physician or caregivier, and can also send alerts to family members or caregivers to let them know when a user is tracking a seizure.
For more information about the EpiWatch study or to find out about your eligibility, please call Johns Hopkins at 443-287-3042.

Source: News from CURE: EpiWatch, NYCURE, Call for Proposals, Caregiver Survey, New CEO

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[WEB SITE] Doctors appear to have reached unexpected consensus in prescribing pediatric anti-seizure medications

July 19, 2017

The number of available anti-seizure medications has exploded in the past two decades, going from just a handful of medicines available in the 1990s to more than 20 now. Once the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves each new medicine based on trials in adults, it’s available for clinicians to prescribe off-label to all age groups. However, says William D. Gaillard, M.D., division chief of Child Neurology and Epilepsy, Neurophysiology and Critical Care Neurology at Children’s National Health System, trials that lead to FDA approval for adults do not provide any information about which medications are best for children.

“With so many medications and so little data,” Dr. Gaillard says, “one might think doctors would choose a wider variety of medicines when they prescribe to children with epilepsy.”

However, the results from a recent study by Dr. Gaillard and colleagues, published online in Pediatric Neurology on June 27, 2017, show otherwise. The study indicates that doctors in the United States appear to have reached an unexpected consensus about which medication to prescribe for their pediatric patients.

The study is part of a broader effort to collect data on the youngest epilepsy patients — those younger than 3 years old, the age at which epilepsy most often becomes evident. As part of this endeavor, researchers from 17 U.S. pediatric epilepsy centers enrolled in the study 495 children younger than 36 months old who had been newly diagnosed with non-syndromic epilepsy (a condition not linked to any of the commonly recognized genetic epilepsy syndromes).

The researchers mined these patients’ electronic medical records for information about their demographics, disease and treatments. About half of the study participants were younger than 1 year old when they were diagnosed with epilepsy. About half had disease marked by focal features, meaning that their epilepsy appeared to originate from a particular place in the brain. Nearly all were treated with a single medication, as opposed to a cocktail of multiple medicines.

Of those treated with a single medication, nearly all were treated with one of five medicines: Levetiracetam, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, topiramate and zonisamide. However, the data showed a clear prescribing preference. About 63 percent of the patients were prescribed levetiracetam as a first choice. By contrast, oxcarbazepine and phenobarbital, the next most frequently prescribed medicines, were taken by patients as a first choice by a mere 14 percent and 13 percent respectively.

Even more striking, of the children who were not prescribed levetiracetam initially but required a second medication due to inadequate efficacy or unacceptable side effects, 62 percent also received this medication. That made levetiracetam the first or second choice for about 74 percent of all the children in the study, despite the availability of more than 20 anti-seizure medications.

It’s not clear why levetiracetam is such a frequent choice in the United States, says Dr. Gaillard. However, in its favor, the drug is available in a liquid formulation, causes no ill effects medically and can be started intravenously if necessary. Studies have shown that it appears to be effective in controlling seizures in about 40 percent of infants.

Yet, levetiracetam’s market dominance appears to be a North American phenomenon, the study authors write. A recent international survey that Dr. Gaillard also participated in suggests that outside of this continent, carbazepine and oxcarbazepine were the most frequently prescribed medications to treat focal seizures.

What’s really necessary, Dr. Gaillard says, is real data on efficacy for each of the medications commonly prescribed to pediatric epilepsy patients–a marked vacuum in research that prevents doctors from using evidence-based reasoning when making medication choices.

“This study identifies current practices, but whether those practices are correct is a separate question,” he explains. “Just because a medication is used commonly doesn’t mean it is the best medication we should be using.”

To answer that question, he says, researchers will need to perform a head-to-head clinical trial comparing the top available epilepsy medications in children. This study sets the stage for such a trial by identifying which medications should be included.

“Uncontrolled pediatric epilepsy can have serious consequences, from potential problems in development to a higher risk of death,” Dr. Gaillard says. “You want to use the optimal medicine to treat the disease.”

Source: Doctors appear to have reached unexpected consensus in prescribing pediatric anti-seizure medications

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[WEB SITE] Research provides insights for why some epilepsy patients continue to experience postoperative seizures

New research from the University of Liverpool, published in the journal Brain, has highlighted the potential reasons why many patients with severe epilepsy still continue to experience seizures even after surgery.

Epilepsy continues to be a serious health problem and is the most common serious neurological disorder. Medically intractable temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) remains the most frequent neurosurgically treated epilepsy disorder.

Many people with this condition will undergo a temporal lobe resection which is a surgery performed on the brain to control seizures. In this procedure, brain tissue in the temporal lobe is resected, or cut away, to remove the seizure focus.

Unfortunately, approximately one in every two patients with TLE will not be rendered completely seizure free after temporal lobe surgery, and the reasons underlying persistent postoperative seizures have not been resolved.

Reliable biomarkers

Understanding the reasons why so many patients continue to experience postoperative seizures, and identifying reliable biomarkers to predict who will continue to experience seizures, are crucial clinical and scientific research endeavours.

Researchers from the University’s Institute of Translational Medicine, led by Neuroimaging Lead Dr Simon Keller and collaborating with Medical University Bonn (Germany), Medical University of South Carolina (USA) and King’s College London, performed a comprehensive diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) study in patients with TLE who were scanned preoperatively, postoperatively and assessed for postoperative seizure outcome.

Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a MRI-based neuroimaging technique that provides insights into brain network connectivity.

The results of these scans allowed the researchers to examine regional tissue characteristics along the length of temporal lobe white matter tract bundles. White matter is mainly composed of axons of nerve cells, which form connections between various grey matter areas of the brain, and carry nerve impulses between neurons allowing communication between different brain regions.

Through their analysis the researchers could determine how abnormal the white matter tracts were before surgery and how the extent of resection had affected each tract from the postoperative MRI scans.

Surgery outcomes

The researchers identified preoperative abnormalities of two temporal lobe white matter tracts that are not included in standardised temporal lobe surgery in patients who had postoperative seizures but not in patients with no seizures after surgery.

The two tracts were in the ‘fornix’ area on the same side as surgery, and in the white matter of the ‘parahippocampal’ region on the opposite side of the brain.

The tissue characteristics of these white matter tracts enabled researchers to correctly identify those likely to have further seizures in 84% of cases (sensitivity) and those unlikely to have further seizures in 89% of cases (specificity). This is significantly greater than current estimates.

The researchers also found that a particular temporal lobe white matter tract called the ‘uncinate fasciculus’ was abnormal – and potentially involved in the generation of seizures – in patients with excellent and suboptimal postoperative outcomes.

However, it was found that significantly more of this tract was surgically resected/removed in the patients with an excellent outcome.

New insights

Dr Simon Keller, said: “There is scarce information on the prediction of postoperative seizure outcome using preoperative imaging technology, and this study is the first to rigorously investigate the tissue characteristics of temporal lobe white matter tracts with respect to future seizure classifications.

“Although there is some way to go before this kind of data can influence routine clinical practice, these results may have the potential to be developed into imaging prognostic markers of postoperative outcome and provide new insights for why some patients with temporal lobe epilepsy continue to experience postoperative seizures.”

Source: Research provides insights for why some epilepsy patients continue to experience postoperative seizures

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[WEB SITE] Brain surgery helps remove scar tissue causing seizures in epilepsy patients

By the time epilepsy patient Erika Fleck came to Loyola Medicine for a second opinion, she was having three or four seizures a week and hadn’t been able to drive her two young children for five years.

“It was no way to live,” she said.

Loyola epileptologist Jorge Asconapé, MD, recommended surgery to remove scar tissue in her brain that was triggering the seizures. Neurosurgeon Douglas Anderson, MD, performed the surgery, called an amygdalohippocampectomy. Ms. Fleck hasn’t had a single seizure in the more than three years since her surgery.

“I’ve got my life back,” she said. “I left my seizures at Loyola.”

Surgery can be an option for a minority of patients who do not respond to medications or other treatments and have epileptic scar tissue that can be removed safely. In 60 to 70 percent of surgery patients, seizures are completely eliminated, and the success rate likely will improve as imaging and surgical techniques improve, Dr. Anderson said.

Traditionally, patients would have to try several medications with poor results for years or decades before being considered for surgery, according to the Epilepsy Foundation. “More recently, surgery is being considered sooner,” the foundation said. “Studies have shown that the earlier surgery is performed, the better the outcome.” (Ms. Fleck is a service coordinator for the Epilepsy Foundation North/Central Illinois Iowa and Nebraska.)

Dr. Asconapé said Ms. Fleck was a perfect candidate for surgery because the scar tissue causing her seizures was located in an area of the brain that could be removed without damaging critical structures.

Ms. Fleck experienced complex partial seizures, characterized by a deep stare, unresponsiveness and loss of control for a minute or two. An MRI found the cause: A small area of scar tissue in a structure of the brain called the hippocampus. The subtle lesion had been overlooked at another center.

Epilepsy surgery takes about three hours, and patients typically are in the hospital for two or three days. Like all surgery, epilepsy surgery entails risks, including infection, hemorrhage, injury to other parts of the brain and slight personality changes. But such complications are rare, and they pose less risk to patients than the risk of being injured during seizures, Dr. Asconapé said.

Loyola has been designated a Level Four Epilepsy Center by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. Level Four is the highest level of specialized epilepsy care available. Level Four centers have the professional expertise and facilities to provide the highest level of medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy.

Loyola’s comprehensive, multidisciplinary Epilepsy Center offers a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to epilepsy and seizure disorders for adults and children as young as two years old. Pediatric and adult epileptologist consultation and state-of-the-art neuroimaging and electrodiagnostic technology are used to identify and assess complex seizure disorders by short- and long-term monitoring.

Source: Loyola University Health System

Source: Brain surgery helps remove scar tissue causing seizures in epilepsy patients

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[WEB SITE] UC study explores how low risk stress reduction treatments may benefit epilepsy patients

Patients with epilepsy face many challenges, but perhaps the most difficult of all is the unpredictability of seizure occurrence. One of the most commonly reported triggers for seizures is stress.

A recent review article in the European journal Seizure, by researchers at University of Cincinnati Epilepsy Center at the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute, looks at the stress-seizure relationship and how adopting stress reduction techniques may provide benefit as a low risk form of treatment.

The relationship between stress and seizures has been well documented over the last 50 years. It has been noted that stress can not only increase seizure susceptibility and in rare cases a form of reflex epilepsy, but also increase the risk of the development of epilepsy, especially when stressors are severe, prolonged, or experienced early in life.

“Studies to date have looked at the relationship from many angles,” says Michael Privitera, MD, director of the UC Epilepsy Center and professor in the Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine at the UC College of Medicine. “The earliest studies from the 1980s were primarily diaries of patients who described experiencing more seizures on ‘high-stress days’ than on ‘low-stress days.'”

Privitera and Heather McKee, MD, an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine, looked at 21 studies from the 1980s to present–from patients who kept diaries of stress levels and correlation of seizure frequency, to tracking seizures after major life events, to fMRI studies that looked at responses to stressful verbal/auditory stimuli.

“Most all [of these studies] show increases in seizure frequency after high-stress events. Studies have also followed populations who have collectively experienced stressful events, such as the effects of war, trauma or natural disaster, or the death of a loved one,” says Privitera. All of which found increased seizure risk during such a time of stress.

For example, a 2002 study evaluated the occurrence of epileptic seizures during the war in Croatia in the early 1990s. Children from war-affected areas had epileptic seizures more often than children not affected by the war. Additionally, the 10-year follow up showed that patients who had their first epileptic seizure during a time of stress were more likely to have controlled epilepsy or even be off medication years later.

“Stress is a subjective and highly individualized state of mental or emotional strain. Although it’s quite clear that stress is an important and common seizure precipitant, it remains difficult to obtain objective conclusions about a direct causal factor for individual epilepsy patients,” says McKee.

Another aspect of the stress-seizure relationship is the finding by UC researchers that there were higher anxiety levels in patients with epilepsy who report stress as a seizure precipitant. The researchers suggest patients who believe stress is a seizure trigger may want to talk with their health care provider about screening for anxiety.

“Any patient reporting stress as a seizure trigger should be screened for a treatable mood disorder, especially considering that mood disorders are so common within this population,” adds McKee.

The researchers report that while some small prospective trials using general stress reduction methods have shown promise in improving outcomes in people with epilepsy, large-scale, randomized, controlled trials are needed to convince both patients and providers that stress reduction methods should be standard adjunctive treatments for people with epilepsy.

“What I think some of these studies point to is that efforts toward stress reduction techniques, though somewhat inconsistent, have shown promise in reducing seizure frequency. We need future research to establish evidence-based treatments and clarify biological mechanisms of the stress-seizure relationship,” says Privitera.

Overall, he says, recommending stress reduction methods to patients with epilepsy “could improve overall quality of life and reduce seizure frequency at little to no risk.”

Some low risk stress reduction techniques may include controlled deep breathing, relaxation or mindfulness therapy, as well as exercise, or establishing routines.

Source: UC study explores how low risk stress reduction treatments may benefit epilepsy patients

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[WEB SITE] Cannabidiol shows promise to reduce seizures for people with difficult-to-treat epilepsy

Taking cannabidiol may cut seizures in half for some children and adults with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), a severe form of epilepsy, according to new information released today from a large scale controlled clinical study that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 69th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 22 to 28, 2017. Cannabidiol is a molecule from the cannabis plant that does not have the psychoactive properties that create a “high.”

Nearly 40 percent of people with LGS, which starts in childhood, had at least a 50 percent reduction in drop seizures when taking a liquid form of cannabidiol compared to 15 percent taking a placebo.

When someone has a drop seizure, their muscle tone changes, causing them to collapse. Children and adults with LGS have multiple kinds of seizures, including drop seizures and tonic-clonic seizures, which involve loss of consciousness and full-body convulsions. The seizures are hard to control and usually do not respond well to medications. Intellectual development is usually impaired in people with LGS.

Although the drop seizures of LGS are often very brief, they frequently lead to injury and trips to the hospital emergency room, so any reduction in drop seizure frequency is a benefit.

“Our study found that cannabidiol shows great promise in that it may reduce seizures that are otherwise difficult to control,” said study author Anup Patel, MD, of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

For the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, researchers followed 225 people with an average age of 16 for 14 weeks. The participants had an average of 85 drop seizures per month, had already tried an average of six epilepsy drugs that did not work for them and were taking an average of three epilepsy drugs during the study.

Participants were given either a higher dose of 20 mg/kg daily cannabidiol, a lower dose of 10 mg/kg daily cannabidiol or placebo as an add-on to their current medications for 14 weeks.

Those taking the higher dose had a 42 percent reduction in drop seizures overall, and for 40 percent, their seizures were reduced by half or more.

Those taking the lower dose had a 37 percent reduction in drop seizures overall, and for 36 percent, seizures were reduced by half or more.

Those taking the placebo had a 17 percent reduction in drop seizures, and for 15 percent, seizures were reduced by half or more.

There were side effects for 94 percent of those taking the higher dose, 84 percent of those taking the lower dose and 72 percent of those taking placebo, but most side effects were reported as mild to moderate. The two most common were decreased appetite and sleepiness.

Those receiving cannabidiol were up to 2.6 times more likely to say their overall condition had improved than those receiving the placebo, with up to 66 percent reporting improvement compared to 44 percent of those receiving the placebo.

“Our results suggest that cannabidiol may be effective for those with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in treating drop seizures,” said Patel. “This is important because this kind of epilepsy is incredibly difficult to treat. While there were more side effects for those taking cannabidiol, they were mostly well-tolerated. I believe that it may become an important new treatment option for these patients.”

There is currently a plan to submit a New Drug Application to the FDA later this year.

Source: Cannabidiol shows promise to reduce seizures for people with difficult-to-treat epilepsy

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[WEB SITE] 11 THINGS TO NEVER DO WHEN SOMEONE TELLS YOU THEY HAVE EPILEPSY

I remember the very first time that someone spoke the words, “Everything will be okay!” speaking about my epilepsy. Fire engulfed my stomach. When a family member spoke this to me, I knew they meant well, however, I wanted to curl into a ball and cry until I had no strength left in me. The way it looked, it didn’t look okay in that very moment.

I didn’t hold anything against them. Of course not. They meant well. Men, women and children are being diagnosed with epilepsy in The United States every single day and around the world. Medicines and treatments are being created all the time. Those battling epilepsy doing everything in their power to live as normally and healthy as possible. Meeting with family and friends in social situations.

It’s hard to know what to say or how to react to the news that someone you care about has a life-threatening medical condition with compassion. There really is no perfect handbook for this kind of situation, and I have experienced quite a few blunders.

Below, I’ve put together my list of Things To Never Do or Say When Someone Tells You They Have Epilepsy:

  1. Don’t raise an eyebrow and ask, “Is it contagious?”
  2. Don’t all of a sudden stop answering calls and texts
  3. Don’t start whispering or lowering your voice to ask any questions you may have about epilepsy.
  4. Don’t say “That’s sad!” and that’s it. This does not help.
  5. Don’t dismiss their epilepsy off as “No big deal.”
  6. Don’t ask if their condition came from something that the person did.
  7. Don’t say, “I know how you feel.” Unless you’ve been treated for the same type of condition and have undergone exactly the same treatment, you really don’t know how the person feels.
  8. Don’t say “Just be grateful you don’t have (Insert another medical condition)” No matter what medical condition you have, its a life-altering-condition. Epilepsy can in fact be life threatening. You don’t need to be reminded that things can always be worse. Comparing medical conditions is not helpful.
  9. Don’t say nothing. When a friend reaches out it makes the person feel wanted and needed. A lot of people are afraid and don’t know what to say, but simply not saying anything can make a person feel isolated and alone. It’s better off saying something rather than nothing.
  1. Don’t treat the person any differently. Treat them just as you’ve always known them your entire relationship. They will notice a difference. They want to be treated with the same amount of respect, dignity, and compassion. Just because a medical condition has entered the picture doesn’t mean an alteration of relationship needs to occur.
  2. Don’t do more for the the person than they are comfortable having others do. Being treated like child or invalid when they are not can be degrading. Independence is very important to a person.

All the reactions listed above, are ones that I have encountered at least once before. Yes, they have knocked me back a step or two, even hurt me a little, over time though I’ve grown a thicker skin and even allowed myself to smile and laugh a bit on the inside.

Thankfully, for each of these responses, there is a greater or an even more powerful response! Take a look at my tips for

What To Do When Someone Reveals They Have Epilepsy:

  1. Tell them, “I’m not sure what to say, but I want you to know that I care.”
  2. Assure them, “If you would like to talk about it, I’m here.”
  3. Assure them, “Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to help.”
  4. Offer interest in understanding what the person is going through. However, understand that the person may not want to talk about it right away.
  5. Bring humor into the picture if it appears to be the right moment for it. Humor can change moods and even lighten the load. This can help the person and even the family to connect to things outside of epilepsy. Find a way to bring happiness and joy into that persons life.
  6. Offer to help them with things they may need such as running errands, going to the doctor, preparing a meal, picking up prescriptions etc. Be as specific as possible. Try to steer clear of “Call me if you need anything.”
  7. Allow there to be room for normal non-epilepsy talk in a day. Sometimes a person can feel as though their entire lives are consumed by their condition. When that is the case, it feels great to have distraction. Take notice from the person how much they do and do not want to talk about epilepsy.

Epilepsy fighters, family, and friends are all in the journey together. We who are diagnosed, know that family and friends have the best intentions. Words don’t always come out like one might hope when stress, fear, worry, all kinds of emotions are running rampant. However, it is communication that is extremely helpful and that is what matters the most. That the lines of communication always remain open. It’s very helpful to be open and to communicate that you would like to be there and you want to do what you can to help.

I encourage epilepsy fighters, family and friends to take a look at both of the lists together and use these lists as a learning opportunity to think about what might be helpful and how this can offer support. It is my hope to make the epilepsy journey a little less stressful and exhausting.

Source: 11 THINGS TO NEVER DO WHEN SOMEONE TELLS YOU THEY HAVE EPILEPSY – health care vision

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