March 16, 2021

Epilepsy Research News: March 2021

This month, we share news of two recent studies using mice to find ways to reduce seizures. One study shows that seizures can be reduced by decreasing levels of a molecule in the brain referred to as microRNA-134 that is important in regulating brain activity. The second investigates ways to reduce seizures through deep brain stimulation that uses light to stimulate brain cells.

In other news, a study spotlights the need to better understand sleep problems in children with epilepsy as part of the diagnosis and management of epilepsy. Lastly, a project utilizing cutting-edge technology to locate the area in a patient’s brain where seizures emerge is presented. This technology may help surgeons better map the area of a person’s brain where the seizures start in preparation for epilepsy surgery.

Summaries of these articles can be found below.

Research Discoveries

  • Targeting a Brain Molecule to Reduce Seizures: Reducing a molecule in the brain that is important in regulating brain activity may have eventual therapeutic applications for the treatment of epilepsy in children, according to a new study using rodents. The researchers found that if they reduced levels of a molecule known as microRNA-134 in young mice they could reduce seizures. Learn more
  • Deep Brain Stimulation to Reduce Seizures: Scientists are investigating a new therapeutic approach to preventing seizures in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Using a mouse model of TLE, researchers stimulated cells in a specific area of the brain with light, finding that when the brain was stimulated, seizures stopped. This effect was stable over several weeks. Learn More
  • Improving Epilepsy Diagnosis and Management: Children with epilepsy sleep poorly compared to healthy children and are more likely to experience disruptions such as night terrors, sleep walking, or disordered breathing during sleep, according to a new study. The researchers recommend screening children for sleep problems as a part of diagnosis and management of epilepsy. Learn More
  • Locating Seizures in the Brain: Scientists with the Human Brain Project have developed an ultra-high definition tool to locate the areas in a patient’s brain where seizures emerge. Now, the team is also using EBRAINS, a digital research project with a large map of the brain, to further boost the accuracy of the tool. This tool has the potential to become an additional way for neurosurgeons to support targeted surgery decisions for each patient. Learn More

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