Friday, 26 October 2018
Sunday, 30 September 2018
The Drug Enforcement Administration has rescheduled Epidiolex, paving the way for GW Pharmaceuticals to start selling the first FDA-approved drug derived from cannabis, but stopped short of reclassifying all cannabidiol products. The Food and Drug Administration in June approved Epidiolex, which is derived from cannabidiol, or CBD, a molecule contained in the marijuana plant. This forced the DEA to consider how it would classify Epidiolex since marijuana is considered a schedule 1 drug, which it defines as having no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Epidiolex will be classified as a schedule 5 controlled substance, the lowest level, defined as those with a proven medical use and low potential for abuse. Other drugs in this category include some cough medicines containing codeine. The drug is indicated to treat patients two years and older with Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, rare forms of epilepsy that emerge during childhood and can be difficult to treat. It does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis that makes people high. GW Pharma said it would "work hard" to make Epidiolex available within the next six weeks. Shares of GW Pharma rose 8 percent on the news and helped pot stocks soar.
Monday, 24 September 2018
On the Occasion of World Pharmacists Day
Avail $100 off at 4th World congress on Epilepsy and Treatment 2018 Tokyo Japan,November 16-17,2018.
Avail $100 off at 4th World congress on Epilepsy and Treatment 2018 Tokyo Japan,November 16-17,2018.
Friday, 14 September 2018
Source -University of Cambridge
Researchers have successfully demonstrated how an electronic device implanted directly into the brain can detect, stop and even prevent epileptic seizures.The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, the École Nationale Supérieure des Mines and INSERM in France, implanted the device into the brains of mice, and when the first signals of a seizure were detected, delivered a native brain chemical which stopped the seizure from progressing. The results, reported in the journal Science Advances, could also be applied to other conditions including brain tumours and Parkinson's disease.
The work represents another advance in the development of soft, flexible electronics that interface well with human tissue. "These thin, organic films do minimal damage in the brain, and their electrical properties are well-suited for these types of applications," said Professor George Malliaras, the Prince Philip Professor of Technology in Cambridge's Department of Engineering, who led the research.
While there are many different types of seizures, in most patients with epilepsy, neurons in the brain start firing and signal to neighbouring neurons to fire as well, in a snowball effect that can affect consciousness or motor control. Epilepsy is most commonly treated with anti-epileptic drugs, but these drugs often have serious side effects and they do not prevent seizures in three out of 10 patients.
In the current work, the researchers used a neurotransmitter which acts as the 'brake' at the source of the seizure, essentially signalling to the neurons to stop firing and end the seizure. The drug is delivered to the affected region of the brain by a neural probe incorporating a tiny ion pump and electrodes to monitor neural activity.
When the neural signal of a seizure is detected by the electrodes, the ion pump is activated, creating an electric field that moves the drug across an ion exchange membrane and out of the device, a process known as electrophoresis. The amount of drug can be controlled by tuning the strength of the electric field.
"In addition to be being able to control exactly when and how much drug is delivered, what is special about this approach is that the drugs come out of the device without any solvent," said lead author Dr Christopher Proctor, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Engineering. "This prevents damage to the surrounding tissue and allows the drugs to interact with the cells immediately outside the device."
The researchers found that seizures could be prevented with relatively small doses of drug representing less than 1% of the total amount of drug loaded into the device. This means the device should be able to operate for extended periods without needing to be refilled. They also found evidence that the delivered drug, which was in fact a neurotransmitter that is native to the body, was taken up by natural processes in the brain within minutes which, the researchers say, should help reduce side effects from the treatment.
Although early results are promising, the potential treatment would not be available for humans for several years. The researchers next plan to study the longer-term effects of the device in mice.
Malliaras is establishing a new facility at Cambridge which will be able to prototype these specialised devices, which could be used for a range of conditions. Although the device was tested in an animal model of epilepsy, the same technology could potentially be used for other neurological conditions, including the treatment of brain tumours and Parkinson's disease.
Sunday, 9 September 2018
What is the best treatment of epilepsy?
Firstly there are over 32 different forms, not to mention causes of epilepsy.
Some people are more easily controlled than others, and again depends what triggers the seizures
and the form they take.
In children particular, you tend to find either convulsive or absence type seizures. In the first case “fitting” as most people recognize; but the latter unless you are parent or family member, and of course a medical person, will not always be recognized.
These are know as “Absence seizures” and very often found in small children under the age of ten, and particularly those under the age of 6. These are where the child or person (the condition does “pop up” in adulthood, either suddenly stops still having previously being walking and then looks a head blankly, usually unable to speak (dysphasic).
A similar situation is when the patient goes in to a dream like walk (like sleep walking; actually related) and this can be more dangerous than a “drop”, convulsive seizure. That is when the person’s “thoughts” and conscious state of mind stop, but the motor part (controls movement and co-ordination) of the brain still operates and the person can walk in a straight line, totally unaware that they are taking a seizure.
That can be very dangerous as they can quite literally walk off a cliff, in to a road or similar danger. That can occur in both childhood and adulthood; again can suddenly develop through no apparent reason.
Convulsive seizure (most recognized by people) is where the patient falls to the ground and starts convulsing. That can have a number of causes, a confusion of the electrical transmissions in the brain, as well as sudden chemical changes. Stress indeed over-excitement (again in children) is a common factor in those cases.
Other causes for convulsive seizures can be “shock” (in the medical context); sudden loss of blood (often found in young girls experiencing their first menstrual cycles, and can carry on through their would be reproductive life. However their are drugs available that can either reduce or stop that type of seizure; whether the girl is capable of reproduction is on a case by case basis.
With girls and women, as mentioned above, the loss of blood and/or the increase of hormones during menstruation or ovulation can trigger fits; as can occur at menopause when the two hormones stop being produced.
Further issues can arise as a result of more serious issues with the brain such as tumors or taking a “stroke”. In the former case, thanks to modern scanning techniques, in particular CT Scans (which are like three dimensional x-rays of the brain” that can find tumors that are deeper in the cortex of the brain. Lobectomies, again are easier now for neurosurgeons thanks to laser surgery, where less of the brain needs to be removed to take out a deep-seated tumors.
Most epileptics (like myself) are controlled with drugs, which again are far more effective and less disabling that the ones around prior to the turn of the Century. Actually the first drug found to control epilepsy (and now a classified drug) was Phenobarbitone, which is in part a narcotic, but was later found to be addictive and in some cases like mine even when the epilepsy was fully controlled by the age of 11; but not discovered until later, they will never be able to come off the drug. Even though the epilepsy is controlled, to “wean them off” would take a long time and not always successful. I
n my case I was lucky at the age of 10 to be discovered that I was on too higher dose in the first case, and should have been weaned off from the age of 8 on wards, providing I didn’t take a seizure gradually withdrawn. I managed to get off the stuff (it is a serious drug and has all sorts of side effects. Indeed in girls could stop them from being able to reproduce if they wanted; and in boys when reaching puberty, issues with erectile dysfunction including the ability to release sperm or even ejaculate. Even if they could the drug had usually made the sperm sterile. Again, the same could happen with girls with reference to their ova.
With the older drugs again with girls their could be issues relating to the creation and development of the foetus.
To that end there is no absolute “Cure” for epilepsy, just way of reducing its incidence. Some very small children do “grow out” of the convulsions, and have no issues through later childhood through to adulthood, and if picked up early enough (like me) weaned of drugs altogether.
However, the older the person is the less likely the condition will be controlled. Even someone who has never taken a seizure right through adulthood, can suddenly develop them in old age, when the brain starts to “slow down”. So as for cure, there may be ever greater control, but future drugs may finally make it extinct.
Finally it should be remembered that epilepsy is not a condition that a vaccination can be created to eliminate it, since it is not a virus or condition in that sense. As I said at the beginning, , there are too many forms for it to be totally eradicated.
Friday, 31 August 2018
What is the best treatment or medicine for epilepsy?
Epilepsy can be “controlled” by drugs (that is what they are, medication is just a polite form) and some of these drugs go back to 1927 (Phenobarbitone being one), and although handed out like sweets up until 1970s; it was suddenly realised that the drug was in fact addictive. In the UK it is now a classified drug
It was a pretty crude drug and as the suffix implies it is a barbiturate, now Class A. Great at stopping seizures but knocked you out as well. Certainly taken with alcohol could be very dangerous if your dosage was high. In some cases in to a coma.
Although people do not realise it there are over 32 types of epilepsy some range from absences (usually found in children), through partial-complex where a person just stops in their tracks, lose their speech, and then continue exactly where they left off as if nothing has happened, as above these can be found in children too.
You have the convulsive types, which is how most people to epilepsy as a fall to the floor for no apparent reason, and starts convulsing. Also known as Tonic Clonic/myoclonic. In the latter case, when coming around the person cannot see clearly with like a halo around a light, nor move, although they know where they are. The also lose their speech faculty (Dysphasia). In the latter case for the patient this can be very frustrating since they know what the want to say, but the thought pattern does not co-ordinate with the ability to open the jaw and larynx operate to make speech.
Sometimes boys have a one off seisure when the hormone testosterone is suddenly released upon sexual maturity; but it less frequent than girls.
Young girls just starting their menstrual cycle can often develop epilepsy, due to the massive rise in hormones and usually the sudden drop when they start menstruating. These are known as Catemenial seisures and again controlled by drugs. It does not stop the female from conceiving a child but it can cause complications during gestation and particularly during birthing.
Oddly enough, a young woman who has never had seisures even when she first started her menstrual cycle, can suddenly develop the condition after the birth of the baby; the reverse can also be true. This has been put down to hormone changes, but no one really knows why it happens.
Migraines are distantly related to epilepsy.
Most people will sustain one seizure during their life time, and the cause of these can vary. Babies who can’t control their temperature often throw one fit; and that can occur right up to the age of 7, in particular shivering, indeed overheating, can trigger a convulsion, in children especially. In older people it can appear after a sharp blow to the head, e.g. concussion, or extreme (medical) shock.
As for an overall cure, as such there isn’t one, it merely can be controlled. However there are cases where small children (between the ages of 1 and 6 years old) have “grown out of them”. It is generally accepted that if the child is still taking seisures, of whichever classification, are generally on medication for life.
I was an “in between” since I had febrile convulsions up to the age of 5; follows by a massive “Status Epilepticus” convulsive seizure as a result of going in to delayed shock walking on a fractured leg (at the time it was not recognised by my parents that is was fractured since there was no bone laid bare, just what appeared to be a scrape.
I was placed on an upgraded phenobarbitone dosage, which I was supposed to be weaned off over a short space of time. In the event I was on it for four years longer than I should have been and nearly became addicted. What is odd, although I know in part why, I redeveloped the condition when I was 35.
That particular seizure was extreme (Status epilepticus) and may have died were it nor for the rapid response and recognition to the condition by another member of staff who did the First Aid and did the “no, no” sticking his fingers in my mouth to clear the tongue; I had I snapped shut again, I would have literally bitten his fingers clean off.
The suggestion that cannabis is a long term solution, is mainly supported by those who use the substance for other reasons than truly medicinal and trying to make the drug legalised. In most cases it is because the do not remember taking the fit, and rely on people reporting it to them later. However it is arguable that inhaling the drug may have been the cause.
Of course an addict will never admit it.