This issue of Epilepsy Research News includes summaries of articles on:
- Pregnant Women with Epilepsy have More Depression and Anxiety Symptoms
- Women With Epilepsy Have Poorer Sleep Quality During Pregnancy
- Creation of a Data Platform to Combine Data from Clinical and Preclinical Models of Post Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Epilepsy
- Bariatric Surgery Recipients May Have an Elevated Risk of Epilepsy
- Newly Discovered Peptide Could Prevent Seizures
A recent study that tracked pregnant women with epilepsy, pregnant women who did not have epilepsy, and women with epilepsy who were not pregnant, found pregnant women with epilepsy were more likely to have symptoms of depression and anxiety during pregnancy compared to the other two groups. Following the birth of their child, the cohort of women with epilepsy who were formerly pregnant were more likely to have symptoms of depression than either of the other groups. According to the study’s author, the results underscore the importance of regularly screening pregnant women with epilepsy for any signs of depression or anxiety and providing effective treatment.
A recent study compared pregnant women with epilepsy to pregnant women without epilepsy and women with epilepsy who were not pregnant and found that pregnant women with epilepsy had worse sleep during pregnancy and postpartum than non-pregnant women with epilepsy during comparable periods. The study authors highlight that understanding the interaction between epilepsy, pregnancy, and sleep provides opportunities to improve sleep in pregnant women with epilepsy and provides the opportunity to reduce sleep-related health risks in pregnant women with epilepsy.
Subarachnoid hemorrhage can lead to many complications including epilepsy. A report, featuring the work of CURE Epilepsy Post-Traumatic Epilepsy (PTE) Initiative grantee Dr. Jeffrey Loeb and his laboratory, describes the creation of a web-based data platform to help researchers and clinicians understand the large number of variables related to a subarachnoid hemorrhage injury and subsequent development of epilepsy. The team hopes that this program will improve research and clinical practice for subarachnoid hemorrhage and other brain injuries.
People who have had bariatric surgery may have an increased risk of developing epilepsy, according to a new study. Researchers examined health records from Ontario, Canada to identify people who had bariatric surgery during a six-year period. After excluding people with a history of seizures, epilepsy, psychiatric disorders, or drug or alcohol abuse, there were 16,958 people remaining who had bariatric surgery. This group was compared to 622,514 people with obesity who did not have bariatric surgery. People who had bariatric surgery had a 45% increased risk of developing epilepsy compared to people who did not have bariatric surgery. People who had a stroke after their bariatric surgery were 14 times more likely to develop epilepsy than those who did not have a stroke. The researchers stated that when considering bariatric surgery, people should talk to their doctors about the benefits and risks.
A new peptide referred to as A1R-CT shows promise as an anticonvulsant in an animal model and could be explored as a treatment to prevent seizures in both epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. A1R-CT disrupts the signaling in the brain between the molecule neurabin and the adenosine 1 receptor (A1R). It has previously been established that when A1R is activated by adenosine, it mediates an anticonvulsant response. This response, however, can be blocked by neurabin. Using an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model with spontaneous seizures, researchers found that nasal delivery of the A1R-CT peptide reduced seizure-like activity, likely by preventing neurabin from blocking the anti-convulsant effects of A1R activation. The team’s next steps will be to optimize the peptide so it can function optimally and, perhaps one day, be used as a rescue treatment for people suffering from chronic seizures.