In the U.S., Keppra ® has been approved as adjunctive therapy for partial onset seizures in adults and children aged four years and older with epilepsy. However the UCB recently announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now approved to lower the age restriction to include infants from the age of one month and older with epilepsy. Professor Dr. Iris Loew-Friedrich, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President UCB declared: "As a leader in epilepsy UCB has a responsibility to develop effective medicines that address unmet medical needs. Our continuing development program with Keppra® in young children demonstrates our long-term commitment to epilepsy." â ¨â ¨ The FDA granted their approval following a double blind, randomized, multi-centre, placebo-controlled phase III study, which assessed the efficacy and tolerability of Keppra®
When a person is experiencing a prolonged convulsive seizure, quick medical intervention is critical. With every passing minute, the seizure becomes harder to stop, and can place the patient at risk of brain damage and death. This is why paramedics are trained to administer anticonvulsive medications as soon as possible - traditionally giving them intravenously before arriving at the hospital. Now a major clinical trial has shown that an even faster method that involves injecting the drugs into the thigh muscle using an autoinjector (similar to a pre-loaded syringe) is just as safe and more effective. The trial, carried out in 17 cities and 79 hospitals nationwide, involved 4, 314 paramedics who treated some 893 patients ranging in age from young children to the very elderly. It took place from 2009 to 2011.
A groundbreaking study published in Elsevier's Epilepsy & Behavior, provides evidence in mouse model that drugs known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs; one category of antidepressants) may reduce the risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). SUDEP is estimated to be the cause of death in up to 17% of patients with epilepsy who die from their condition. Evidence for cardiac and respiratory causes of SUDEP has been presented, but no effective prevention of SUDEP has yet been developed. Several studies have proposed that DBA mouse models of seizure-induced sudden death that are due to respiratory arrest may be useful models for respiratory-related causes of SUDEP. In these models, the generalized convulsive seizure is induced by acoustic stimuli, and the incidence of death after the seizure can be greatly reduced or prevented by providing rapid respiratory support.
A UT Dallas undergraduate's research is revealing new information about a key protein's role in the development of epilepsy, autism and other neurological disorders. This work could one day lead to new treatments for the conditions. Senior neuroscience student Francisco Garcia has worked closely with Dr. Marco Atzori, associate professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS), on several papers that outline their findings about interleukin 6 (IL-6) and hyper-excitability. An article on the project is slated for publication in Biological Psychiatry later this year. Scientists know that stress elevates the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (signaling molecules used in intercellular communication) and promotes hyper-excitable conditions within the central nervous system. This hyper-excitability is thought to be a factor in epilepsy, autism and anxiety disorders.
While epilepsy surgery is a safe and effective intervention for seizure control, medical therapy remains the more prominent treatment option for those with epilepsy. However, a new 26-year study reveals that following epilepsy surgery, nearly half of participants were free of disabling seizures and 80% reported better quality of life than before surgery. Findings from this study - the largest long-term study to date - are now available in Epilepsia, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE). More than 50 million individuals worldwide suffer from seizures caused by epilepsy according to a 2001 report by the World Health Organization (WHO). Medical evidence shows that compared with the general population, epilepsy patients have significantly poorer health-related quality of life, higher rates of co-morbidites, and lower rates of employment, marriage, and education levels.