Neurontin for treating epilepsy
Brain cells can adopt a new chemical code in response to cues from the outside world, scientists working with tadpoles at the University of California, San Diego report in the journal Nature this week. The discovery opens the possibility that brain chemistry could be selectively altered by stimulating specific circuits to remedy low levels of
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Many people who suffer with epilepsy take a drug called Neurontin to control seizures, enabling them to live healthy active lives. Epilepsy is not a psychological disorder. It is a physical abnormality in the brain involving neurons that clash with other neurons. This can cause convulsions and even unconsciousness.
During a convulsion (or seizure), the neurons can impact on one another as much as 500 times per second. This is vastly higher than the way they should normally react. Some epileptics only experience seizures occasionally but, for others, it can happen many times a day.
In extreme cases, seizures may cause damage to the brain. But in the majority of cases, they have no negative effect on the brain at all. Epilepsy cannot be cured but it can be controlled. Many children who suffer with the disorder find that when they get to the age of 20, the seizures completely stop. However, this does not apply to most adults.
Over 2 million Americans have diagnosed epilepsy – this is 1 in every 100 people. Luckily around 80 percent of epileptics are able to completely control their seizures with medications like Neurontin. For the other 20 percent, the drug may help reduce the frequency of seizures, but cannot prevent them permanently.
Epilepsy does not affect a person’s intelligence or abilities. There are many famous politicians, entertainers and sporting stars who have this disorder, yet they function just as well as anyone else because they use a drug like Neurontin.
People using Neurontin should continue taking this medication even if their seizures stop. It could be very dangerous to stop treatment. The seizures could start again and they could be more severe. This could cause damage to the brain. When first using Neurontin, your doctor may start you on a lower dose and then increase it as your system becomes accustomed to the medication.
A new Mayo Clinic study found that it is generally safe to withdraw anti-seizure medications in children with epilepsy who have achieved seizure-freedom while on the medication. Researchers found that these children were not at high risk of subsequently developing intractable epilepsy. The study will be presented on Sunday, Dec. 7, at the American Epilepsy
Full Post: Study finds it generally safe to withdraw anti-seizure medication in children with epilepsy
A new study by researchers at UC Davis Medical Center suggests that the sudden unexplained deaths of some epilepsy patients may be a result of their brains not telling their bodies to breathe during seizures. “Significant drops in blood oxygen levels are more common than we thought in patients with partial seizures,” said study senior
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A University of Iowa-led international research team has found a new gene associated with the brain disorder epilepsy. While the PRICKLE1 gene mutation was specific to a rare form of epilepsy, the study results could help lead to new ideas for overall epilepsy treatment. The findings, which involved nearly two dozen institutions from six different
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A new study shows that women who take the epilepsy drug valproate while pregnant may significantly increase their child’s risk of developing autism. The preliminary research is published in the December 2, 2008, print issue of Neurology ?, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The ongoing study involves 632 children, nearly half
Full Post: Epilepsy drug valproate may increase risk of autism in children
Two children have a seizure. One child never has another seizure. Twenty years later, the other child has a series of seizures and is diagnosed with epilepsy. A study being led by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is looking at what could possibly happen in the development of these two children that would lead
Full Post: New understanding of seizure behaviors and epilepsy