Although the majority of people diagnosed with epilepsy will have their seizures

controlled with medication a significant number of people will not respond satisfactorily

to any current treatment.

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We know that many seizures in severe forms of epilepsy originate in the hippocampus

of the brain. Researchers from Lund University in Sweden have shown that they were

able to reduce seizures in this area of the brain by administering therapy to another

area in the brain not associated with the seizure activity. Using a method known as

chemogenetics’ they were able to focus precisely on the region of the brain affected by

the epileptic seizures, leaving other areas of the brain unaffected.  This is in stark

contrast to the way that current antiepileptic medication works.  Antiepileptic drugs

affect more or less all  parts of the body.  The researchers hope that this will mean in

the future that treatment can be administered to areas of the brain that cannot be

reached directly or cannot be surgically removed.  As Merab Kokais, director of the

Epilepsy Centre at Lund University says “We hope that, in the future, this knowledge

will help people with this severe form of epilepsy, but also that it will benefit other

patients”

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