Epilepsy Talk

Hope for Drug Resistant Epilepsy | October 6, 2020

Drug-resistant epilepsy with uncontrolled severe seizures — despite state-of-the-art medical treatment — continues to be a major problem for up to 30% of patients with epilepsy.

Although drug resistance may fluctuate in the course of treatment, for most patients, drug resistance seems to be continuous.

Unfortunately, traditional antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) don’t seem to prevent or reverse drug resistance in most patients.

However, some new add-on AED therapies have shown as much as 50% in seizure reduction.

This research concerns the structural brain lesions that have been associated with drug resistance in epilepsy.

British scientists believe they’ve uncovered the root cause of drug resistant epilepsy through tests on patients’ brain tissue which revealed some seizures are caused by electrical connections between nerve cells instead of chemical ones.

This faulty wiring would explain why traditional drugs are useless and why some patients have to resort to surgery to remove the brain tissue responsible for the seizures.

The researchers took brain tissue removed from people with epilepsy into the lab where, miraculously, they were able to coax it to behave as if it was still part of the living brain.

They were then able to record electrical signals from individual neurons and networks of neurons in the samples.

What they managed to record was an underlying “noise” — a particular type of brain wave — which occurs in the intact epileptic human brain and which scientists believe to be a precursor to an epileptic seizure.

They found that instead of being controlled by chemical signals which most conventional anti-epileptic drugs target, this variation relies on direct electrical connections.

Newcastle University’s Dr Mark Cunningham, the leader of the study, said the next step would be to understand what it is that triggers the transition between the underlying epileptic state of the brain cells and the fluctuating electrical signals that are responsible for causing a seizure.

Simon Wigglesworth of Epilepsy Action said: “This is exciting news for people whose epilepsy cannot be controlled by medication and an important development in our understanding of the condition.

Currently, there is no treatment to cure epilepsy other than surgery, which at the moment is only effective for small numbers.”

“We hope that this research will move us closer to effective treatment”.

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  1. Please know about this drug with no side effects. VIMPAT. After taking so many other Epilepsy drugs with side effects. This VIMPAT has been wonderful. But it is $100 per
    Month. Although the 🍩 Donut Hole costs seniors $250 a month.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Rita McDonald — October 7, 2020 @ 10:30 AM

  2. Thank you for this article. As a recipient of the positive result of surgery, it’s great to see other forms of help develop for the rest of the group.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Ed Lugge — October 7, 2020 @ 11:04 AM

  3. This electrical cross wiring is the reason why the keto and carnivore diets work so well particularly in refractory cases of epilepsy. The coatings on the neurons are a substance called myelin which is made by the body from cholesterol. Think of the wires in your house. If the plastic coating on the outside gets frayed, bad things can happen. Far from being the dietary villain as it has been portrayed, cholesterol is essential to proper neurological functioning.

    Liked by 3 people

    Comment by paleobird — October 7, 2020 @ 2:48 PM

  4. Wow. Great analogy Paleobird!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 7, 2020 @ 2:55 PM

  5. Good news!
    Getting closer to resolve the complicated equation, distinguishing the formula of the seizures to find the exact remedy to the missing link, drug resistant seizures.
    Salute to Newcastle University!

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Gerrie — October 8, 2020 @ 1:44 AM

  6. I have had epilepsy for over 20 years, not easy to control. I had temporal lobal surgery, than they had to put a shunt in the brain for the csf as I had too much brain fluid. This has already been replaced once. My life is a mess.
    I suffer with headaches every morning. I do not know what to do? Now this last week I have had 2 more seizures for no reason. I am better off dead after everything I have been through. Theres nothing good in life.
    Anyone ever tried medical cannabis oil for headaches? Does it have any side effects?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Joe White — October 8, 2020 @ 4:38 AM

    • Earlier findings noted in a study suggest an endocannabinoid system dysfunction or deficit in endocannabinoids may link to the development of migraines and other types of headaches. Your endocannabinoid system regulates different functions like sleep, mood, immune system function and pain response. Cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids found in medical weed interact with your endocannabinoid system’s receptors, especially the CB1 receptor, to hinder the inflammation leading to headache pain.
      What Side Effects and Symptoms of Headaches Can Medical Marijuana Treat?

      Medical cannabis for headaches helps by:

      Reducing inflammation
      Relaxing tense and inflamed muscles
      Reducing blood pressure and dilating arteries
      Reducing pain center receptor nerve signals

      It can also help with some of the other headache symptoms mentioned above, including:

      Chronic fatigue
      Trouble falling and staying asleep
      Disturbed concentration
      General muscle aches

      If you’re suffering from headaches — regardless of whether they’re simple tension headaches, or more severe headaches like migraines — marijuana can be an effective remedy.
      Best Strains of Marijuana to Use for Headaches Symptoms and Treatment Side Effects

      As you’ve probably figured out by now, medical pot is a highly effective headache treatment. However, there are specific strains of medical marijuana for headaches that may work better than others for treating your headache pain and other symptoms. Below are some of the best strains to use for headaches.

      White Widow (hybrid): Although this strain is low in THC, it contains pain-relieving properties, while also producing euphoric sensations and feelings to combat tough headaches.
      Green Crack (Sativa): An excellent strain for tackling a headache, Green Crack is fast-acting, offering immediate relief for your headache pain.
      Lemon Kush (hybrid): Lemon Kush offers a fair amount of THC with some CBD. The two cannabinoids combined are what make this a useful headache-fighting strain.
      Kryptonite (hybrid): This medical cannabis strain also has high levels of THC in it, which is perfect for treating pain — even headache pain.
      Purple Urkle (Indica): A common effect of headaches is not getting enough good-quality sleep. If you’re not getting adequate sleep because of your headaches, this strain is your answer. It provides you with a potent mind and body high, leaving you instantly calm, relaxed and sleeping while it melts away your headache.
      Purple Haze (Sativa): Purple Haze is another potent strain to tackle uncomfortable headaches. It’s a well-balanced medication, high in THC, making it perfect for dealing with headaches.

      When suffering from headaches, no matter how severe, you can find relief with the strains above. However, there are many other options available to you for headache relief. Many already know these strains effectively treat headaches and are a good place to start.
      Best Methods of Marijuana Treatment to Treat Side Effects and Symptoms of Headaches

      You can separate cannabis and headaches consumption methods into three main categories:

      Oral techniques
      Inhalation methods
      Topical application

      You can use other methods to take medical marijuana as well.

      Oral THC administration reduces both experimentally induced and chronic pain, according to studies.

      Oral consumption methods are those where you administer marijuana through your mouth. Some examples include:

      Ingestible oils

      Inhalation techniques appear to offer fast effects and eliminate migraine headaches almost immediately.

      Examples of inhalation methods include:

      Vaporization, also known as vaping

      Topicals are absorbed through the skin and may include:

      Transdermal patches

      Today, more consumption methods are coming out all the time for medical marijuana to benefit patients’ varying needs for getting medical pot into their systems.


      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 8, 2020 @ 9:31 AM

      • Don’t ask the clerk in the dispensary for recommendations. Find a reputable doctor, a neurologist. Also talk with a pharmacist or two. My pharmacist knew not only what strain would work for me, and the correct dosage, but where to get it most inexpensively. Research pays.

        Liked by 2 people

        Comment by HoDo — October 8, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

      • I can tell you from experience, THE CLERK KNOWS NOTHING. He/she leaves you up to your own guessing game. How much CDC? How much THC?

        Follow HoDos advice. Please!

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 8, 2020 @ 11:05 AM

      • A thought: a common cause of headaches is dehydration. Easy to get dehydrated overnight.

        Liked by 2 people

        Comment by HoDo — October 8, 2020 @ 12:10 PM

      • Thank you HoDo 😊. Out of curiosity what if you have to limit you intake of fluids to 1 litre a day? Because of hyponatremia caused by the tegretol. Thank you HoDo

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — March 7, 2021 @ 12:27 PM

  7. This is important news. Many thanks. I had to wonder if there is ever competition or overload if/when electrical and chemical signals are operating at the same time.

    (Off-topic note: I had a cat named Wigglesworth.)

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by HoDo — October 8, 2020 @ 8:37 AM

    • Lol 😂 my cats name is “PAPAY” after the skunk “PEPAYLAMEOW” 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Kathy S.B — March 7, 2021 @ 12:29 PM

  8. Hodo, what a sweet name for a cat. Also, I’m curious, what kind of pharmacist have you been able to work with who can deal so closely with your concerns? Not what I’ve found with big name pharmacies. Looking for the correct med marijuana strain has been like dealing with so many Neurologists and meds: an expensive uneven undertaking.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by skolly9 — October 8, 2020 @ 7:44 PM

    • My pharmacist is independent, not big name. The fine print on my insurance says I can use him. There are at least three such near where I live (in California). It takes some looking, and it was worth it.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by HoDo — October 9, 2020 @ 7:42 AM

      • I am going to start looking ASAP!!

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — March 7, 2021 @ 12:30 PM

    • If medical marijuana is legal where you live, there will also be doctors who specialize in prescribing it. Yes, it takes a lot of phoning around and asking. Perhaps a pharmacist can suggest a doctor. Even your regular internist might know of someone. You’re right, though, it’s not easy.
      Good luck.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by HoDo — October 9, 2020 @ 8:29 AM

      • Or sometimes your pharmacist really doesn’t appear to care either. As long as they make their money

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Kathy S.B — March 7, 2021 @ 12:32 PM

    • I completely agree with you Skolly9!!!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Kathy S.B — March 7, 2021 @ 12:30 PM

  9. Our pain doctor gave us a prescription, shrugged his shoulders and said, “Good-bye, good luck.”

    And he’s a wonderful, out-of-the-box thinking guy.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 9, 2020 @ 1:24 PM

  10. Hmmmm did he work or help you Phylis?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Kathy S.B — March 7, 2021 @ 12:32 PM

    • He’s wonderful and he continues to work and help Arthur. It was just the med that he was dubious about.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 7, 2021 @ 1:25 PM

      • I don’t know much about medical marijuana & I had never tried it nor did I ever been exposed to the experience of anything related to it.
        What surprises me the most is, WHY is marijuana illegal in most parts of the world, if there’s medical advantage to the “substance”?
        Wouldn’t it be better left for consumers to choose IF, WHEN, WHY & WHAT kind of marijuana would cure their medical or recreational needs, just like any other products in the market?
        What gives political autocrats the right to decide what’s good for me, you & anyone else in society, when society had no problem consuming Alcohol with all it’s potential misfortunes?
        Are the consequences of marijuana addiction any worst than legally marketed & publicly consumed Alcohol, if there’s any social concern for mental addiction, economic, social & psychological breakdown?
        Why does it need to be too difficult for those who need cure in medical marijuana?
        Who needs all that bureaucratic hardships for “medical card”, when they are already going through medical & financial hardships to cure their medical nightmares?
        Why NOT make medical marijuana available in all public pharmacies just like any other health product available for public consumption, when there comes the need for medical treatment?
        It’s perplexing to wonder, can medical marijuana cure my epileptic seizures to only find out that the potential remedy is NOT conveniently available where I want & can have easy access too like any medical products in the pharmacy, without going through more medical appointments, bureaucratic hardships & financial nightmares, adding insult to the injury.
        While selecting the right does & quality of the product is certainly going to be another struggle, I think making medical marijuana available to the pharmacies for medical consumption would have eliminated a whole lot of hardships to the epilepsy patients who may want to take a chance in trying to cope with & treat their seizures.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Gerrie — March 7, 2021 @ 5:52 PM

      • Gerrie, sad as it may be, I think it all comes down to one word — PATENTS. 😔

        Sent from my iPhone



        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 7, 2021 @ 7:51 PM

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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also 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.

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