Rewiring the Brain with Cell Transplantation

Epilepsy Talk

Cell transplantation is an emerging approach for treating drug-resistant epilepsy.

Regenerative medicine such as this, is a relatively “simple” process in that stem cells are often cultured from the patient’s own tissue, then processed and transfused back into the body.

Cells used for transplant are sometimes genetically engineered to produce substances to reduce seizures, or protect neurons from damage.

For people with epilepsy, stem cell transplantation offers the prospect of someday preventing seizures.

In addition to treating multiple diseases, the ability to “guide” stem cells to develop into specific tissue types may ultimately benefit patients suffering from severe burns, traumatic injuries and congenital defects.

That being said, cell transplantation therapies for epilepsy are still in preliminary stages of development.

However, the encouraging results of animal studies suggest that this type of therapy may eventually be used to treat drug-resistant human epilepsy.

In about 50 percent to 70 percent of epilepsy…

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The Perils of Discontinuing Your Meds

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Epilepsy and Melatonin – Yes? No? Or Maybe So?

Epilepsy Talk

Most of us are familiar with melatonin and it’s purpose: To help you sleep. Or at least to help you get to sleep. In fact, melatonin is one of the most commonly used supplements in the United States. (Lots of sleepless people out there!)

Scientifically speaking, melatonin is a hormone synthesized from serotonin, the “feel good” hormone. It’s secreted from the pineal gland (a pea-sized gland, near the center of your brain) over an exact 24-hour cycle.

This cycle is an important part of our circadian rhythm, the system that regulates numerous body functions over a twenty-four hour cycle, the most obvious of which is the sleep / wake cycle.

Around bedtime, melatonin rises, so you feel sleepy. Then the secretion of melatonin falls during the night, and by morning, levels are low.

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

But we haven’t introduced the epilepsy wild card. That’s where the yes…no…and…

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7 Myths About Medication — and the Facts Behind Them

Thank you, Phylis! Even those who know most of this need reminders. I didn’t know about the last one…guess I need at least two gulps 🙂

Epilepsy Talk

From The Cleveland Clinic: By Family Health Team

Misconceptions about medicine are as common as pills on a pharmacy shelf.

We could all use a healthy dose of the truth.

Cleveland Clinic drug information pharmacist Katie Stabi, PharmD, BCPS, debunks seven of the most common myths about medications below:

Myth 1: Forget what the label says — if you’re really hurting, take more pills

Fact: When you’re in severe pain, you may look at the dose on the pain reliever bottle and think, “This can’t possibly help!” The truth is, yes, it can.

The dose listed on the label of an OTC or prescription drug isn’t just a suggestion — it’s a careful calculation. Pharmaceutical companies work hard to develop the appropriate dose of each and every medicine.

Taking more than the listed dose can rob you of the benefits of the medicine and may leave you feeling worse, not…

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28 New Epilepsy Medicines In Development

Epilepsy Talk

A newly-released report from Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has revealed that 28 new medications are in development to treat epilepsy and seizures.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

These 28 new drugs are among nearly 420 new ground-breaking medicines in progress to treat neurological disorders.

Of the 28 epilepsy medicines listed in the report, seven are in or have completed phase one of development, eight are in or have completed phase two and, thirteen are in or have completed phase three.

The large number of drugs currently in clinical trials provides a measure of hope for patients whose epilepsy is not controlled with currently available medication.

In the future, this range of antiepileptic drugs will probably increase because of the use of new animal models, discovery of new basic mechanisms of epileptogenesis, acceleration of proof of principle studies in people, and development of new methods…

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24/7 Epilepsy Foundation Helpline

Epilepsy Talk

Do you have questions about seizures or epilepsy?

The Epilepsy Foundation’s Helpline is now available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Trained information specialists are now standing by to answer your questions.

Each year more than 14,000 people contact the Helpline. The most common topics include:

  • Treatment options for seizures and other medical concerns
  • Legal issue assistance
  • Seizure safety and first aid assistance
  • Financial assistance
  • Information and materials requests
  • Finding a support group

Accredited information specialists who have more than 70 years of combined experience are available to answer your epilepsy-related questions and to connect you to the best support services.

The Helpline maintains an online database with detailed information on hundreds of national and local resources that support people with epilepsy and their families.

(You can search this database also at: epilepsy.com/epilepsy-seizures-247-helpline-resources.)

Using this comprehensive database, they can quickly find and connect you to the necessary…

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The Staggering Costs of Epilepsy

Epilepsy Talk

The fact that epilepsy is expensive is no secret. The meds, medical care, the doctors’ visits, hospital bills, health costs, the injuries and finally, the cost of self-esteem.

The statistics are sobering but true…

Epilepsy results in an estimated annual cost of $15.5 billion in medical costs and lost or reduced earnings and production.

Total hospital cost was estimated at $532.4 million and expenditures for physician services were $76.7 million.

The average cost of an emergency department visit related to epilepsy is $707.

$33,006 is the average annual cost incurred by people with epilepsy visits due to uncontrolled seizures.

$1,800 is the average cost per day for U.S. hospital admission of a person with epilepsy/convulsions.

$317,000 is the average lifetime wages lost by men who continue to have seizures.

 $140,000 is the average lifetime wages lost by women who continue to have seizures.

More than 50% of people with seizures…

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