According to a new study that was published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers have found that the common drug nimodipine, a calcium-channel blocker, drastically reduced the amount of fever-induced seizures kids had.
Fever-induced childhood seizures are commonly called febrile seizures, and cause the child’s body to convulse. It mostly affects kids between 6 months to five years of age. These seizures can last anywhere from seconds to more than 40 minutes. Unlike general epilepsy, children suffering from febrile seizures are not treated with anti-seizure medications like Topamax because of the toxic reaction the drugs pose to kids that young.
Scientists know that these types of seizures generally occur when the child’s temperature reaches over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius), though how they happen has not been made clear. This new study, however, conducted by a team of researchers from Northwestern Medicine, has been able to identify a new key factor in what generates them, which has helped them find a new therapeutic target in terms of treatment. What they found was that nimodipine caused a significant reduction in the amount of febrile seizures as well as lessening the length of them in animals. This method may work in humans as well.
“Until now, most scientists believed L-type calcium channels, pores in the membrane that allow calcium into cells, were not engaged in the initiation of the brain electrical activity,” said the study’s lead author Marco Martina, MD, associate professor in physiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “We show that the activation of these channels, which are temperature-sensitive, actually drives the electrical activity, not just follows it. As such, these channels may play a key role in seizure associated with high body temperature. Consequently, we can develop better treatments for toddlers and reduce the risk of negative outcomes.”
This new finding may help in treating kids with febrile seizures that cannot take other anti-seizure medications like Topamax. Topamax has been linked to an increased risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts as well as birth defects in women whose babies are exposed to the drug in-utero. Some of those birth defects linked to Topamax use during pregnancy include cleft lips, cleft palates, genital defects and other birth malformations.
If your baby was born with birth defects after in-utero exposure to Topamax, contact attorney Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting Topamax lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your child’s injuries.