A new approach to the treatment of absence seizures

Professors Vincenzo Crunelli and Giuseppe Di Giovanni at Cardiff University are exploring the role of the thalamus (a structure located in the centre of the brain) in absence seizures. The thalamus, which relays nerve signals to and from the cortex (the folded surface of the brain) and also helps to regulate sleep, consciousness and alertness, is thought to be important in the generation of absence seizures.

Absence seizures are generalised seizures that are characterised by a sudden interruption of activity, transient loss of consciousness and a blank stare. They are a feature of many idiopathic generalised epilepsies, yet their underlying mechanisms are not fully understood and anti-epileptic drug treatment is only effective in 50-80% of people affected. This research could potentially lead to the development of more effective anti-absence drugs in the future.

Read more about this research into a new approach to the treatment of absence seizures here.

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