New research confirms that childhood onset temporal lobe epilepsy has a significant impact on brain aging. Study findings published in Epilepsia, a peer-reviewed journal of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), show age-accelerated ventricular expansion outside the normal range in this patient population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), epilepsy affects nearly 2 million Americans. Temporal lobe epilepsy is the most common form of partial epilepsy, with 60% of all patients having this form of the disease. Previous evidence suggests that patients with childhood onset epilepsy have significant cognitive and developmental deficiencies, which continue into adulthood, particularly in those resistant to antiepileptic drugs. Prior imaging studies of patients with temporal lobe epilepsy have shown abnormalities in brain structure in hippocampus, in thalamus and other subcortical structures, and also in cortical and white matter volume.
A new epilepsy gene for idiopathic epilepsy in Belgian Shepherds has been found in the canine chromosome 37. The research of Professor Hannes Lohi and his group conducted at the University of Helsinki and the FolkhĂ lsan Research Center opens new avenues for the understanding of the genetic background of the most common canine epilepsies. The research also has an impact on the understanding of common epilepsies in humans. The research is published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE. Epilepsy affects about 1-5% of the human population at some stage of live, and it includes a host of syndromes the age of onset, causes and prognosis of which vary significantly. Based on their basic mechanisms epilepsy syndromes are divided into genetic (idiopathic) epilepsies, structural / metabolic (symptomatic) epilepsies and epilepsies of unknown cause.
A type of cell plentiful in the brain, long considered mainly the stuff that holds the brain together and oft-overlooked by scientists more interested in flashier cells known as neurons, wields more power in the brain than has been realized, according to new research published in Science Signaling. Neuroscientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center report that astrocytes are crucial for creating the proper environment for our brains to work. The team found that the cells play a key role in reducing or stopping the electrical signals that are considered brain activity, playing an active role in determining when cells called neurons fire and when they don't. That is a big step forward from what scientists have long considered the role of astrocytes - to nurture neurons and keep them healthy.
A study published Online First by Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals, reveals that patients with autoimmune epilepsy are more likely to have improved seizure outcomes if immunotherapy is initiated early. According to the researchers: "Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are the mainstay of treatment for epilepsy, but seizures continue in one-third of patients despite appropriate AED therapeutic trials. Even in the current era, the etiology of epilepsy often remains unclear." Seizures are prevalent in autoimmune neurologic disorders, such as limbic encephalitis. Amy M. L. Quek, M.B.B.S., of the Mayo Clinic, College of Medicine, Rochester, Minn., and her team collected data from the Mayo Clinic computerized diagnostic index from patients diagnosed with autoimmune epilepsy who were assessed between January 2005 and December 2010 in both the Autoimmune Neurology Clinic and Epilepsy Clinic, in order to assess clinical characteristics and immunotherapy responses in individuals suffering with autoimmune epilepsy.
Styling practices can lead to serious hair and scalp diseases for some African Americans, says Henry Ford Hospital dermatologist Diane Jackson-Richards, M.D. "Hair is an extremely important aspect of an African-American woman's appearance, " says Dr. Jackson-Richards, director of Henry Ford's Multicultural Dermatology Clinic. "Yet, many women who have a hair or scalp disease do not feel their physician takes them seriously. Physicians should become more familiar with the culturally accepted treatments for these diseases." Dr. Jackson-Richards says proper hair care can help prevent the onset of such diseases like seborrheic dermatitis and alopecia, and that dermatologists need to become more sensitive to the hair and scalp plights of African Americans. Dr. Jackson-Richards will discuss these issues Monday during a presentation of "Hair Disease and the African-American Patient" at the annual American Academy of Dermatology conference in San Diego.