Epilepsy Talk

New hope for drug resistant epilepsy | May 26, 2022

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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Resources:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091130151323.htm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8385790.stm

https://epilepsysociety.org.uk/news/hope-seizure-freedom-drug-resistant-epilepsy

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1528-1167.2005.54904.x


12 Comments »

  1. Reblogged this on Disablities & Mental Health Issues.

    Like

    Comment by Kenneth — May 26, 2022 @ 11:00 AM

  2. How far has this research gone? I’m scheduled for another 5 day Video EEG tomorrow. It seems like another surgery would not be the recommended tx method?? Please direct to further info. Thanks. Maire’

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Maire Archbold — May 26, 2022 @ 12:28 PM

  3. I will agree several original AED’s like Dilantin which Dr.’s put me on in 1974 after my first seizure, so they discovered I have this disorder. But when I came to Portland OR in ’86 -I was immediatly taken off it and suddenly I had a memory, which I lacked for the first 27 yrs. of my life. Oh a few images are there but I can’t recall going to a park or what my bedrooms looked like. The VNS has almost solved this disorder… I only have a seizure once every 3 months and they are not drop attacks (like they were in the 1990’s) and I still have nocturnal seizures which only happen in people with intractable epilepsy. In about 1995 or 96 my neuroloigist found out why it was intractable – when I got Meningitis while in the crib, that part of the brain which protects both sides broke down. So now it was in BOTH Temporal Lobes. So after the FDA approved the VNS in 1997 I got it in 1998. One of the meds I take increases GABA which calms that neurotransmitter.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by leonchavarria — May 26, 2022 @ 1:05 PM

    • Leon, like you I was prescribed Dilantin, which was basically the only game in town in 1969.

      I also became a zombie with little or no memory.

      But somehow, by sheer miracle, I was eventually taken off of it and put on Lamictal.

      My memory — and my life– were restored.

      Like

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 26, 2022 @ 6:29 PM

  4. The progress of science & technology eradicating many pandemics in the last century, it’s encouraging to know that Scientists are digging up the mystery behind the centuries old neurological disorder that has been inflicting complex agony on human race for centuries.
    Investing on the research of the deep roots of the neurological disorder may certainly lead to better understanding of epilepsy & help in search of better medical treatment to eradicate the neurological disorder.
    Expanding the research to include wider scope of experts around the world would certainly benefit the progress of the study on treatment of epilepsy.
    Gerrie

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Gerrie — May 26, 2022 @ 1:24 PM

  5. We are so very much in need of the research and resources of neuroscience, neuroengineering and neurology to come together for one common cause. To address the cause and effect of epilepsy and help erase it as we know it.

    Like

    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 26, 2022 @ 6:35 PM

    • I agree with not getting batteries or new ones Corina, in 2020 the nurse who usually recharges my VNS cancelled my April appt. in March so later on in 2020 I realized the generator had not been recharged for 10 monthes…so in January of 2021 I had a drop attack ( in a grocery store) the first one I’d had in 23 years. I made a new appt. for the next week.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by leonchavarria — May 26, 2022 @ 10:05 PM

  6. And trying the VNS to help control seizures if meds don’t work for like I myself had to do. Plus later had to have a few brain surgeries too and now the VNS has helpped a lot expect when you have the batteries replaced.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Corina Perry — May 26, 2022 @ 8:18 PM

  7. I’m a Status Epileptic with Grand Mal every 2 days. I have had no relief for 10 years of multiple medications that didn’t work. I ran into an old hippie friend who turned me on to Micro-dosing Psilocybin. I did it every 3rd day for only a month back in December. It’s now June and I just had my first Grand Mal. This is the medicines Big Pharma needs to be looking into,

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by CosmicPat — June 9, 2022 @ 4:54 PM

  8. “Faulty wiring” in buildings can trigger Epileptic Seizures and severe headaches. It’s still every Friday or weekend that I have seizures.
    There are a few people I don’t know why that are intentionally trying to trigger me to have Epileptic seizures their way through Cybercrimes and bullying because “I haven’t seen her have an Epileptic seizure so she doesn’t have Epilepsy!!”
    I’ve heard that said loud!!
    Their using cell phones in vents to bully and annoy the hell out of me!!
    It’s being going on since 2011!
    I had a fur baby feline then that made a huge bullpen of rumors that what I was was “drunk and a drug addict!!” Loud enough for me to hear it outside of my apartment door in the hallway!!
    They were the ones who triggered my fur baby to get sick from him being healthy in our first apartment to the 2nd, the my Epileptic seizures suddenly going from calm and static to us relocating to an apartment that I was warned about to Epileptic seizures that were frequent I broke my hand then broke and fractured my arm multiple times from Epileptic seizures multiple times… Because of the people who were in the apartment next to me!!
    The Epileptic seizures became more frequent that my Neurologist at the time new it wasn’t my AEDs that were the “problem”…
    Seemed as though the more people knew me they knew I wasn’t telling tales and it was the environment around me that was the main reasons for my fear…

    A odd as it sounds these people who caused my worse wounds including the my head trauma that I have now from last week when it reopened the healing one … Their still around believing in a rumor that started in 2015, as most rumors did! They won’t let me alone they’ve said… Alive…

    My lock was changed to the apartment that I rented long ago because they made a mistake of spreading rumors that my epilepsy was also contagious!!! So when I was in the hospital for the last time and my fur baby was still in my apartment when I returned from the hospital for Epileptic reasons 3 teens with no superintendent around told me to call the security or the police if I wanted to get back in to My apartment again… They knew that it was yes my apartment, with no superintendent around and the security cameras on they still thought that I was trespassing into my own apartments with my fur baby inside!
    No one left us alone!!

    Then hell broke loose.
    He was forced away and out of my hands after the femme cops traumatized me of his location!!

    Like

    Comment by Tabitha — June 13, 2022 @ 1:59 AM


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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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