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The Net Guide: Epilepsy

MDNG Psychiatry, June 2010, Volume 12, Issue 2

We searched the Internet for epilepsy resources so you don't have to.

Type the link codes in the search window above to access the third-party resource.

The Educated Patient

You Are Not Alone: Toolkit for Parents of Teens with Epilepsy

This toolkit from the CDC addresses the emotional, psychological, and social challenges faced by children with epilepsy and explains how parents can help children “accept the limitations on their freedom and choices that may be necessitated by the seizure disorder.” The printouts include letters from parents of teenagers with epilepsy, listings of parenting resources and family support groups, tips on maintaining the marital relationship and relationships with other children, and more. Multimedia offerings include an audio file of three typical parent—teen conversations from both perspectives, and “You Are Not Alone,” a documentary video.

Link Code: pn122211


Medical Websites


Neurologists should be sure to bookmark this website, which contains several resources for physicians. Among them are a resource library, conference webcasts, continuing medical education opportunities, and an “Innovation Center,” where visitors will find information on how to get involved with the process of advancing epilepsy therapies. Physicians will also find information on several ongoing research projects about epilepsy, such as the Epilepsy Therapy Project. Updated news and an option to sign up for the site’s mailing list are also available.

Link Code: pn12213

Online CME

Medication Compliance



Expires:October 15, 2010


Complete this activity to learn “how to explain to patients the importance of taking epilepsy medications as prescribed, including obtaining appropriate refills;” apply these skills in helping patients “evaluate daily compliance with their medication regimen and obtaining refills,” and relate patients’ medication adherence to seizures and adverse effects.

Link Code: pn12238

PDA Resources

Cochrane Reviews in EpilepsyCost:$29.95

Memory Requirement:8.07MB (Android)/4.85MN (BlackBerry)/2.37MB (Palm OS, without images)/5.6MB (Palm OS, with image)/5.15MB (Pocket PC)

Demo Available:Yes

This epileptic reference is an easy way for neurologists to remain up-to-date on the most recent news regarding the disease. The Cochrane Review “is the best single source of reliable evidence” for healthcare. Reviews in Epilepsy has the capacity to create a “personal” library of specific topics of interest and the ability to cross-reference with other Skyscape references.

Link Code: pn12291

Clinical Trials

EpilepsyPhenome/Genome Project

Study Type:Observational

Age/Gender Requirement:<60 years (male/female)

Sponsor:University of California, San Francisco

Purpose:To “collect detailed information about the characteristics and genetics of a large number of individuals with epilepsy” as part of a “large-scale, national, multi-institutional, collaborative research project aimed at advancing the understanding of the genetic basis of the most common forms of epilepsy.”

Link Code: pn122612

Language Mapping in Patients with Epilepsy

Study Type:Observational

Age/Gender Requirement:7-55 years (male/female)

Sponsor: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Purpose: To “examine how certain language skills, such as naming objects, understanding spoken language and reading are organized in the brain and how they are affected by seizures” in order to “test the hypothesis that successful left hemisphere epilepsy surgery for children and adults improves abnormalities in the functional anatomy of language that may be associated with uncontrolled localization-related seizures.”

Link Code: pn122613

Search for Genes Influencing Childhood Absence Epilepsy Study

Study Type:Observational

Age/Gender Requirement:Not Listed (male/female)

Sponsor: Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Purpose:To determine what genes are involved in the development of childhood absence epilepsy by investigating “whole families with many members affected with epilepsy or both parents and a child with CAE of families without other affected members (trios) and… comparing patients with CAE to healthy individuals without epilepsy.”

Link Code: pn122614


Brain-computer Interfacing Based on Cognitive ControlJournal:Annals of Neurology (June 2010)

Authors:Vansteensel M, Hermes D, Aarnoutse E, et al.

Purpose:To determine whether, in patients with intractable epilepsy, “the cognitive control network can be sued for [brain-computer interface (BCI)] purposes,” and if functional MRI use is feasible for “noninvasive localization of the cognitive control network.”

Results:For BCI applications, the cognitive control network is a suitable signal source. Also, translating cognitive network understanding derived from functional neuroimaging into clinical applications is feasible.

Link Code: pn122512

A Decision Support Framework for the Discrimination of Children with Controlled Epilepsy Based on EEG AnalysisJournal:Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation(June 2, 2010)

Authors:Sakkalis V, Cassar T, Zervakis M, et al.

Purpose:To “develop reliable techniques for the extraction of biomarkers from EEG that indicate the presence of minor neurophysiological signs in cases where no clinical or significant EEG abnormalities are observed” by comparing “EEG recordings from controlled epileptic children with age-matched control children under two different operations, an eyes closed rest condition and a mathematical task.”

Results: The “study proposes concrete biomarkers that can be used in a decision support system for clinical validation. Fusion of selected biomarkers in the Theta and Alpha bands resulted in an increase of the classification score up to 80% during the rest condition. No significant discrimination was achieved during the performance of a mathematical subtraction task.”

Link Code: pn122513

Mistaking a Long QT Syndrome for Epilepsy: Does Every Seizure Call for an ECG?Journal:Fortschritte der Neurologie-Psychiatrie (June 8, 2010)

Authors:Burghas L, Liu W, Eggers C, et al.

Purpose:To make better known the importance of early diagnosis of long QT syndrome (LQTS) among patients with epilepsy, as syncope is common among this population, who often experience particularly long diagnostic delays that sometimes aren’t made until the patient needs resuscitation because of a cardiac arrest.

Results:“ECG recording should be performed for every patient presenting with a seizure considered to be of epileptic origin not only at the beginning of the disease but also when fits occur in spite of antiepileptic treatment in order to prevent an incorrect diagnosis and delay in making the correct diagnosis.”

Link Code: pn122514

Pharma Focus

Namenda (memantine HCL)

Clinical Trials

Does Memantine Improve Verbal Memory Task Performance in Subjects with Left Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and Memory Dysfunction?

Study Type:Interventional

Age/Gender Requirement:18-65 years (male/female)

Sponsor:American Academy of Neurology

Purpose: To “evaluate the efficacy of memantine for the treatment of verbal memory dysfunction in subjects with left temporal lobe epilepsy,” with the expectation that “verbal memory task performance will improve in those taking memantine, but not in those taking a placebo.”

Link Code: pn122515

Use of Memantine for Preserving Cognition in Adult Patients with Epilepsy

Study Type:Interventional

Age/Gender Requirement:18-65 years (male/female)

Sponsor:University of California, Davis

Purpose:To determine if memantine can help improve or stabilize memory and other thought processes in patients with epilepsy, as well as if the agent can positively affect the frequency of seizures in those with the disease.

Link Code: pn122516


From the HCPLive Network

Remarkably High Prevalence of Epilepsy and Seizure History in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) are at a significantly increased risk for seizures, a team of researchers from universities and hospitals in Canada has found.


Silk Brain Implant may Provide New Treatment Option for Seizures, Brain Injuries

Researchers from several universities in the United States have developed a brain implant, made partly of silk, that can melt onto the surface of the brain that may become a new tool for treating epilepsy and spinal cord injuries.