May 16, 2023

Epilepsy Research News: May 2023

This issue of Epilepsy Research News includes summaries of articles on:


Epilepsy with Eyelid Myoclonia (EEM)

A newly published article, written by a steering committee convened by CURE Epilepsy, provides a comprehensive review of the characteristics of EEM, also known as Jeavons syndrome. EEM is a type of epilepsy?that occurs in childhood, with seizures often continuing into adulthood. It is more common in females and its hallmark traits consist of eyelid myoclonia (brief jerks of the eyelids) with or without absence seizures, eye closure-induced seizures, and photosensitivity. Individuals with EEM are often misdiagnosed and anti-seizure medication resistance is common, highlighting the need for further studies to understand more about this epilepsy and possible interventions to treat it.  

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A Computer Model of Epilepsy Brain Used in Clinical Trial for Epilepsy Surgery

Scientists in France are looking at how a computer model of the brain can improve the localization of the seizure zone before epilepsy surgery. The models are created using the Virtual Epileptic Patient (VEP), which employs brain scans and brainwave-recording data from individuals with epilepsy to build a personalized model to improve the understanding of where their seizures originate. The study authors said that VEP showed a 60% precision in identifying the epileptogenic zones in 53 patients with drug-resistant focal epilepsy. VEP is being evaluated in an ongoing clinical trial called EPINOV. If the trial results are promising, this computer model may become a new, personalized tool used in epilepsy surgical evaluations to improve surgical outcomes.  

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Worsened Perinatal Outcomes in Women with Epilepsy

Recently published findings showed that women with epilepsy have worse perinatal outcomes compared with women without epilepsy, including a 5-fold increase in the odds of maternal death. Combining the results of 76 already-published papers, investigators found that relative to women without epilepsy, those with epilepsy had increased odds of gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, miscarriage, preterm birth, induced labor, stillbirth, cesarean delivery, and maternal death. “When counseling pregnant women with epilepsy and those of childbearing age, clinicians should consider these findings,” a lead investigator concluded. “In addition, clinicians and women with epilepsy should bear in mind the increased odds of negative adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes.”  

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Early-Life Meningitis Associated with Risk of Developing Epilepsy in Later Childhood

Infants exposed to invasive Group B Streptococcus (iGBS) meningitis during their first three months of life could have a greater risk of developing epilepsy in later childhood compared to infants who were not exposed, according to a recent study. Investigators evaluated the cumulative risk (CR) of an infant diagnosed with iGBS sepsis or meningitis during the first three months of age developing epilepsy. Examining a group of 1,432 children with iGBS and 14,211 without iGBS, the team found that the overall CR of developing epilepsy into later childhood was 3.6% among children with iGBS disease, whereas the CR of later-adulthood epilepsy was 2.3% in the group without iGBS. The study authors noted that the data have implications for affected individuals and underline the need for better long-term follow-up and care. 

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