Epilepsy sufferers will one day live without seizures, says expert

March 27, 2014
Epilepsy sufferers will one day live without seizures, says expert

A leading epilepsy expert at Royal Holloway, University of London, has said there is a pressing need for new and more effective treatments that would make it possible for all sufferers to live seizure free.

On Purple Day today (Wednesday 26 March), a global epilepsy awareness day, Professor Robin Williams said many ' quality of life could be significantly improved thanks to advances currently being made in treatments.

"Epilepsy can have a devastating effect on people and their families and there are a range of serious side-effects associated with current treatments", said Professor Williams, from the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway. "I believe that research represents the best hope of finding a cure for epilepsy and eventually we will develop new treatments so that no-one will have to experience seizures."

Last year, research by Professor Williams, in collaboration with Professor Matthew Walker, unlocked the secret to , the most commonly prescribed treatment for epilepsy. The research identified how the drug works to block seizures in epilepsy sufferers, a fact that had remained a mystery for almost 50 years.

However, despite important breakthroughs in current treatments, the academic has said that further advances must also be made to offer medication with fewer side-effects.

He said: "There are a range of serious side-effects associated with valproic acid, including birth defects, tremors, kidney problems and alopecia. Developing more effective treatments would have a huge effect on the lives of those not responding well to current medication."

Around 600,000 people in the UK are living with , and approximately 87 people are diagnosed with the condition every day.

Related Stories

Discovery offers new treatment for epilepsy

November 20, 2012

New drugs derived from components of a specific diet used by children with severe, drug-resistant epilepsy could offer a new treatment, according to research published today in the journal Neuropharmacology.

New technology is key to better epilepsy treatment

March 22, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—University of Adelaide scientists are making a major impact on the understanding and diagnosis of epilepsy, which will lead to individualised treatments for sufferers.

Recommended for you

Surprising similarity in fly and mouse motion vision

July 29, 2015

At first glance, the eyes of mammals and those of insects do not seem to have much in common. However, a comparison of the neural circuits for detecting motion shows surprising parallels between flies and mice. Scientists ...

Research grasps how the brain plans gripping motion

July 28, 2015

With the results of a new study, neuroscientists have a firmer grasp on the way the brain formulates commands for the hand to grip an object. The advance could lead to improvements in future brain-computer interfaces that ...

New research rethinks how we grab and hold onto objects

July 28, 2015

It's been a long day. You open your fridge and grab a nice, cold beer. A pretty simple task, right? Wrong. While you're debating between an IPA and a lager, your nervous system is calculating a complex problem: how hard to ...

It don't mean a thing if the brain ain't got that swing

July 27, 2015

Like Duke Ellington's 1931 jazz standard, the human brain improvises while its rhythm section keeps up a steady beat. But when it comes to taking on intellectually challenging tasks, groups of neurons tune in to one another ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.