Epilepsy

Epilepsy Drug Alters Rodent Gut

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
February 14, 2014
Abstract: 

In utero exposure to the epilepsy drug valproic acid (VPA), which ups the risk of autism, may alter the composition of gut bacteria in rodents, according a study published in Brain Behavior and Immunity. Rats and mice exposed to VPA in utero have social deficits, repetitive behaviors and anxiety, making them a good model for studying autism. It is unclear exactly how VPA exposure leads to these symptoms, however.

New Imaging Method Details Brain Abnormalities in Mice

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
November 14, 2013
Abstract: 

A new imaging technique that can assemble finely detailed pictures of an individual mouse’s brain in less than a day is being used to explore mouse models of autism. The automated technique cuts a mouse brain into 280 thin slices, which are scanned by a powerful microscope and the resulting images are then stitched together into a three-dimensional view. The researchers used this technique to investigate the imbalance of excitatory and inhibitory signals in a mouse model of 16p11.2 deletion. People missing this chromosomal region have an increased risk for autism, and about one-quarter have epilepsy, in which an excess of excitatory signals causes seizures.

Autism and Epilepsy Cases Share Mutations

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Institute
Date Published: 
October 15, 2013
Abstract: 

About one-third of people with autism suffer from epilepsy. This overlap suggests that the two disorders may have a common origin — a theory borne out by examples of shared genetics. Mutations in GABRB3, a brain receptor linked to autism, are prevalent in severe childhood epilepsy, according to a study published in Nature. The study also found that many of the spontaneous mutations found in children with epilepsy overlap with those linked to autism and fragile X syndrome.

Risk of Epilepsy Linked to Age and Intelligence

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
August 19, 2013
Abstract: 

Children with autism who are older than 13 years and have low intelligence are at the greatest risk of having epilepsy, says one of the largest epidemiological studies on the issue to date. The presence of epilepsy among the general population is around two percent; the prevalence of epilepsy among people with autism is around thirty percent. This study breaks down occurrence of epilepsy by age, with children ages 13 to 17 having the highest prevalence.

Mutations in BCKD-kinase Lead to a Potentially Treatable Form of Autism with Epilepsy

Source: 
Science
Date Published: 
October 19, 2012
Abstract: 

A research team led by Gaia Novarino of the University of California, San Diego, has identified genetic mutations which cause a form of autism that could potentially be treated with dietary supplements.

Mutations in BCKD-kinase Lead to a Potentially Treatable form of Autism with Epilepsy.

Source: 
Science
Date Published: 
Oct. 19, 2012
Abstract: 

Researchers identified inactivating mutations in the gene BCKDK (Branched Chain Ketoacid Dehydrogenase Kinase) in consanguineous families with autism, epilepsy, and intellectual disability.

Focal Seizures with Affective Symptoms are a Major Feature of PCDH19 Gene-Related Epilepsy.

Source: 
Epilepsia
Date Published: 
December, 2012
Abstract: 

Most patients with PCDH19 mutations exhibit a distinctive electroclinical pattern of focal seizures with affective symptoms, suggesting an epileptogenic dysfunction involving the frontotemporal limbic system. Awareness of this distinctive phenotype will likely enhance recognition of this disorder.

Gauging seizures’ severity

Source: 
MITnews
Date Published: 
April 30, 2012
Abstract: 

Simple wrist sensors let neurologists collect better data about patients with epilepsy — and could alert patients that they need to seek medical care.

Seizure Damage Reversed In Rats By Inhibitory Drug Targeting Neurologic Pathways

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
December 19, 2011
Abstract: 

About half of newborns who have seizures go on to have long-term intellectual and memory deficits and cognitive disorders such as autism, but why this occurs has been unknown. In the December 14 Journal of Neuroscience, researchers at Children's Hospital Boston detail how early-life seizures disrupt normal brain development, and show in a rat model that it might be possible to reverse this pathology by giving certain drugs soon after the seizure.

Fetal Exposure to Epilepsy Drug Might Raise Autism Risk: Study

Source: 
US News & World Report
Date Published: 
December 5, 2011
Abstract: 

Children exposed to the epilepsy drug valproate have a nearly three times higher risk of having an autism spectrum disorder, new research finds.