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The Fire in My Brain

Living with a Disease that Everyone Fears


electric brain



April 19th, 2012

New Medication Offers Hope to Patients With Frequent, Uncontrollable Seizures

A new type of anti-epilepsy medication that selectively targets proteins in the brain that control excitability may significantly reduce seizure frequency in people whose recurrent seizures have been resistant to even the latest medications, new Johns Hopkins-led research suggests.

March 8th, 2012

Surgery not necessarily a last resort

While the thought of any type of surgery can be disconcerting, the thought of brain surgery can be downright frightening. But for people with a particular form of epilepsy, surgical intervention can literally be life-restoring.

February 16th, 2012

Autoinjectors offer way to treat prolonged seizures

Drug delivery into muscle using an autoinjector, akin to the EpiPen used to treat serious allergic reactions, is faster and may be a more effective way to stop status epilepticus, a prolonged seizure lasting longer than five minutes, according to a study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

February 13th, 2012

Falling in love with epilepsy and St Valentine

I was surprised to find out that as well as being the patron saint of love, St Valentine is also the patron saint of epilepsy. I’ve just found a study that analysed six centuries of artistic depictions of the holy figure where he is often accompanied by people having seizures.

February 10th, 2012

Seizures in patients with pork tapeworm caused by Substance P

Substance P is a neuropeptide (a small protein-like molecule involved in neuron-to-neuron communication.) It is produced by neurons, endothelial cells (the cells that line blood vessels) and cells involved in host defense. Discovered in the 1930s, it has long been recognized as a pain transmitter. However, in recent years, it has also been found to play a role in many other functions.

January 27th, 2012

Brain Receptor in Eyes May Link Epilepsy, Cataracts and Antidepressants

ScienceDaily (Jan. 26, 2012) — Researchers from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) and Columbia University have discovered that the most common receptor for the major neurotransmitter in the brain is also present in the lens of the eye, a finding that may help explain links between cataracts, epilepsy and use of a number of widely prescribed antiepileptic and antidepressant drugs. The research appears online in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.

January 4th, 2012

Guidelines Stress Caution When Combining Anti-Epileptic, HIV Drugs

New guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology will help physicians better choose seizure drugs for people on HIV/AIDS medication, avoiding deadly drug interactions and preventing critical anti-HIV drugs from becoming less effective, possibly leading to a more virulent strain of the disease.

October 4th, 2011

Epilepsy across cultures

electric brain
As window to other worlds

There’s a wonderful anthropology study on beliefs about epilepsy among the Guaraní people in Bolivia in the latest Epilepsy and Behavior.

The Guaraní believe that people with recurrent seizures are a gateway between the worlds of life and death.

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