According to information from a new epilepsy study, a biological mechanism that has long been thought to trigger seizures has been proven to do just that. This study was conducted by researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and was published in the latest edition of Neuron.
The study found that molecular disruptions in the granule cells — found in the dentate gyrus area of the brain — is what actually triggered the seizures in mice. This is very much like the ones that are found in the human temporal lobe form of epilepsy. The authors of the study made a note that temporal lobe epilepsy is the most common form of the condition. The lead researcher of the study, Steven Danzer, neuroscientist in the Department of Anesthesia at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, said that for the time being there are little to no real treatments on the market to prevent epilepsy. However, he does admit that the current medications being used to treat the condition are dangerous.
One of those dangerous medications is Topamax, an anti-seizure medication that has been proven to cause birth defects in babies whose mothers take the drugs while pregnant. Some of those birth defects include PPHN, spina bifida, oral clefts and neural tube defects. Danzer believes that in locating the cells that cause seizures, better ways of treating them can be developed.
“Establishing which cells and mechanisms are responsible for the seizures allows us to begin working on ways to control or eliminate the problem therapeutically — and in a more precise manner,” he said.
Should this biological mechanism help researchers pinpoint the exact source of the seizures, drugs like Topamax may just become a thing of the past. With all of the dangers linked to the drugs, that is not a bad thing at all. Many newborns and their families may also end up grateful that they were able to avoid the birth defects that are associated with medications like Topamax.
If your baby was born with birth defects because of 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.