Study Highlights Dravet Syndrome and its Effects on Infantile-onset Epilepsy

A new study published in the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigationis suggesting a potential treatment for babies born with infantile-onset epilepsy may help in preventing the sudden death that the condition often causes.

The sudden deaths in infantile-onset epilepsy is caused by a condition called Dravet Syndrome (DS), which is a form of treatment-resistant epilepsy. This form of epilepsy is caused by a gene mutation that encodes a voltage-gated sodium channel, SCN1A. Patients suffering from DS are more than 30 percent more likely to die from sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP) in comparison to the kids that are born with other types of epilepsy. The study, which was conducted by scientists at the University of Washington, was able to characterize SUDEP in mice.

During the study, researchers were able to show that slowing the heartbeat was able to combat the instances of SUDEP in the mice. The study also showed that by giving the mice prescription drugs, the researchers were able to lessen the amount of activity that occurred in the parasympathetic nervous system, which helped to lower the number of SUDEPs that occurred. What this means is that the researchers were able to show that the real mortality rates are caused by seizure-related parasympathetic hyperactivity. These results were discussed by the study’s attending physician, Dr. Orrin Devinsky, to see how these results will affect human babies with DS.

Epilepsy is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide, including babies born with the condition. Some babies have proven that they are resistant to anti-seizure drugs. If this study proves accurate, babies suffering from DS could prolong their lives and avoid the sudden unexplained deaths. Adults are often treated with anti-seizure drugs like Topamax. Topamax has been linked to serious side effects including birth defects in babies whose mothers take the drugs while pregnant. Children may be born with birth defects such as PPHN, spina bifida, neural tube defects, oral clefts and heart, lung and brain defects after exposure to Topamax in-utero.

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.