Epilepsy Articles – November 2019

EWCT brings you the latest news on epilepsy-related articles

  1. Brain and foetal development damage caused by exposure to CBD and THC are very similar defects seen in foetal alcohol syndrome.


  2. People with epilepsy all too commonly experience psychological distress such as anxiety or depression. One of the contributing factors is something that’s not often discussed: epilepsy-related stigma. Stigma may affect people in various ways, and addressing it openly is an important first step to providing relief.


  3. The CBD craze has taken the world by storm, seizing promotional and consumer dollars as fast as anything in recent memory: cryptocurrencies, fake (but edible and delicious) meat, or vaping. According to estimates from data research firm Brightfield, the U.S. CBD market in 2019 is expected to reach $5 billion — 706% growth compared to 2018. But while celebrity after celebrity has endorsed cannabidiol (CBD) products, to which they can “personally” attest to the benefits, the science isn’t so sure.


  4. News update: Criteria widened for exceptional circumstances funding of lamotrigine PHARMAC has announced that in response to the high level of public concern around the lamotrigine brand change, the criteria for the exceptional circumstances funding has now been widened.

    Message to health professionals from Dr Ken Clark, Acting Medical Director, PHARMAC

    “We understand that there is a lot of public concern in relation to the lamotrigine brand change. As a result of the feedback we have received, we have streamlined the application process for funding for a specific brand of lamotrigine. We will consider funding applications from prescribers for patients who may have difficulty changing brands due to medical reasons or other concerns.”


  5. A campaign is being launched in the UK to highlight the significant number of young people who die suddenly from epilepsy. Figures show that nearly half of the deaths are preventable and yet too often those with the condition are not told enough about the risks. In Cornwall, they have developed a simple checklist – and an app – which is now saving lives.

  6. Brains have two halves, known as hemispheres. Each has various regions that regulate different aspects of our physical and cognitive functioning.

    These halves do not work separately. Instead, they communicate by establishing complex neural networks that allow different parts of the body and mind to synchronize and work in harmony.

    But what happens if you take one hemisphere away? That is the situation faced by people who undergo hemispherectomy — usually in childhood — as a means of treating severe seizures.