Rethinking Seizure Care Blog

Childhood Absence Epilepsy Study

Posted by RSC Diagnostics on Jul 5, 2019

Case Study Concept on the Mechanism of Shiny Metal Gears.

A recent study that delved into childhood absence epilepsy (CAE) found that the brains of those who suffer from the condition could be disturbed not only during the seizures, but between them too. The researchers, whose findings were published in the Journal of Physiology, believed that even with therapy, the between seizure activity can continue. Some children who suffer from CAE have been found to have issues with cognition, such as attention deficit disorder, and this could be due to the brain activity between seizures.


How Did the Study Progress?

Professor Jeffrey Noebels led the team at the Baylor College of Medicine, located in Texas. For the study, they utilized “two genetic rodent models of absence epilepsy” and then observed their brain activity between seizures using EEGs. They studied the brain activity before and after providing treatments that “could either stop or exacerbate the seizures.” Then, they compared their findings with observations from rodents who were not affected by seizures.

Those rodents who had epilepsy were found to have the abnormities in their brain before and after the treatments given. The researchers did not perform any cognitive tests on the rodents, so they were not able to make any definitive links between that and ADD. They have said that this is an area they plan to return to and research further at another time.

The equipment they were using, an EEG, can detect the seizures that occur, but it is not used to monitor and look for cognitive problems. However, if further research does confirm the abnormalities discovered in this study, it is likely that an EEG would then be used to look at the brain activity between the seizures to get a better understanding of what is occurring. Ideally, this will help to lead to a better diagnosis of varying cognitive issues children are suffering, as well as providing monitoring. The hope is that one day it might be possible to treat those conditions at the same time they are treating for seizures, which could hopefully provide a better quality of life for the child.

According to Epilepsy Research, the first author on the study, Dr. Atul Maheshwari, said, “We plan to evaluate whether the abnormalities we found are associated with deficits in attention in these and other mouse models. In addition, we plan to treat these mice with standard treatments for attention deficit disorder such as Ritalin and determine whether the behavior and the EEG abnormalities can be corrected.”

Time and More Research Will Tell

When it comes to epilepsy research, there are so many different facets and avenues of this condition to study. It can seem as though movement forward and finding answers are slow. Many times, the studies focus on specific types of epilepsy and types of treatment. However, teams such as the one from Baylor College of Medicine and many others around the world are working hard to provide answers that can help, so one day we can have the answers and treatments that are needed.



Topics: Pediatric Epilepsy