RCSI enters research agreement to identify genetic targets for childhood epilepsies

Developing new treatments for childhood epilepsies and neuro-developmental diseases is the aim of a new partnership between RCSI (FutureNeuro, the SFI Research Centre for chronic and rare neurological diseases based at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) and F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. announced today. The 3-year partnership aims to guide scientists to new gene targets to control some of the devastating childhood epilepsies that do not respond to existing therapies.

Epidiolex receives encouraging review

GW Pharmaceuticals' cannabis-derived medicine for severe childhood epilepsy received a positive review from U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) staff last Tuesday, increasing its hopes for approval in the world's biggest drugs market.

GW's medicine Epidiolex is a purified type of cannabidiol - one of the active ingredients found in marijuana. It includes less than 0.1 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the substance that gives someone a 'high'.

Risk of unnatural death greater in people with epilepsy

People with epilepsy in England and Wales are more likely to die of unnatural causes including suicide and fatal accidents to overdoses, a study has found.

Though the risks of dying unnaturally for people with epilepsy are small in absolute terms (0.3-0.5%), they are greater than in people without epilepsy says Dr Hayley Gorton from The University of Manchester.

Cannabis compound may reduce seizures

A natural compound found in cannabis may help to prevent the frequency seizures, according to a review in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

The evidence to date, however, is confined to the treatment of children and teens whose epilepsy does not respond to conventional drugs, and rare and serious forms of the condition, warn the researchers.

Support the 'invest in neurology campaign'

The Neurological Alliance of Ireland, together with eleven of its member organisations, has launched a campaign calling on the Government to prioritise investment in neurology services.

The "Invest in Neurology" campaign is calling on the Government to take immediate action to tackle unacceptable staffing deficits in neurology services across the country as well as longer term investment to develop specialist services for specific neurological conditions.