A drug initially discovered by the researchers in the Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation for Pediatric Neurology Research at Texas Children’s Hospital to be effective in treating refractory seizures commonly seen in tuberous sclerosis patients is now approved for use in Europe.
A recent study published in eNeuro from the laboratory of Dr. John Swann, director of the Gordon and Mary Cain Pediatric Neurology Research Foundation Laboratories at Texas Children’s Hospital shows how frequent seizures alter the microanatomy of neurons in the brain and that the activity of a specific enzyme may contribute to the cognitive and behavioral deficits observed in children with epileptic encephalopathies.
“Number of Americans with active epilepsy is increasing,” concludes a national and state-specific study that was published last week in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Morbidity and Mortality Report.
Epilepsy, a common neurological disorder characterized by repeated seizures that can involve temporary loss of consciousness, altered or rapid eye movements, involuntary muscular jerks or twitching and other symptoms.
Dr. John Swan, director of the Cain Foundation Labs and co-director of Neurological Research Institute (NRI) describes how NRI/Texas Children's physician-scientists discover and clinically translate cutting-edge treatments for childhood epilepsies.
What is Lennox-Gastaut syndrome?
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is a form of severe childhood epilepsy that firsts manifests in children between the ages of 2 to 5 years and often persists into adulthood. Children with this syndrome have life-long behavioral, psychological and cognitive problems. There is also an increased risk of death due to uncontrolled seizures and/ injuries from sudden drop attacks.
Early infantile epileptic encephalopathies (EIEE) are a group of severe seizure disorders that occur in early childhood. Epilepsy of infancy with migrating focal seizures (EIMFS, also previously known as migrating partial seizures of infancy) is one of these.
Childhood epileptic encephalopathies (EEs) comprise a group of seizure disorders that manifest early in life and are commonly associated with abnormalities in cognitive, sensory and motor skills. There are various causes of childhood EEs. Injury to the brain during development of the fetus or at birth is a common cause. Thanks to recent advances in exome sequencing technology, it is increasingly evident that many rare EEs are a result of sporadic mutations in individual genes.