A new study, conducted by scientists at the Gladstone Institutes, suggests that an epileptic medication may be able to reverse memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients.

For this study, researchers studied genetically altered mice as a means of simulating the key traits of Alzheimer’s disease. What the researchers were able to learn is that Levetiracetam, an anti-seizure medication, works in suppressing the abnormal brain activity caused by the disease and it also helps to restore the mice’s memory. The results of this study can be found online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“For the millions of people suffering from Alzheimer’s worldwide, we have no effective drug to prevent or reverse memory loss — the hallmark symptom of this ultimately fatal disease,” said Dr. Lennart Mucke, who is also a professor of neurology and neuroscience at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), with which Gladstone is affiliated. “This study builds on our earlier findings linking Alzheimer’s and epilepsy. It provides new insights into the processes underlying memory loss in Alzheimer’s and demonstrates the ability of an anti-epileptic drug to block these processes.”

A healthy brain needs a good deal of activity in neuronal networks for the memory to work properly. When a patient has Alzheimer’s, the disease causes disruptions in that activity, which can also cause seizures. However,
Gladstone Postdoctoral Fellow Pascal Sanchez says, “whether such neuronal-network disruptions also impair memory was unknown. So we screened seven FDA-approved anti-epileptic medications — including Levetiracetam — in our Alzheimer’s mouse model to see if minimizing these network disruptions could improve memory.”

One anti-seizure medication that was not used in this study was Topamax. Topamax has been linked to serious side effects in babies whose mothers take the drug while pregnant. Babies exposed to Topamax in-utero may be born with birth defects, including PPHN, oral clefts, cleft palate, neural tube defects, spina bifida and heart, lung and brain defects.

If your baby was born with any of these birth defects after being exposed to Topamax during gestation, contact 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 baby’s injuries.