Study: Childhood Onset Epilepsy makes Brain Age Faster

A new study has revealed that childhood onset temporal lobe epilepsy plays a significant role in how the brain ages. The results of this study were published in Epilepsia.

According to the CDC, temporal lobe epilepsy is the most common type of partial epilepsy, meaning that as many as 60 percent of all patients who have epilepsy are affected with this version of it. Earlier studies have proven that patients suffering from childhood onset epilepsy are more likely to have cognitive and developmental deficiencies, which continue to affect them into adulthood. This is especially true in the patients that resistant to antiepileptic drugs like Topamax.

For this study, the researchers wanted to characterize the “differences in brain structure and patterns of age-related change.” Dr. Bruce Hermann and his colleagues from the University of Wisconsin-Madison monitored data collected from 55 patients who suffer from chronic temporal lobe epilepsy as well as 53 healthy patients. All of the participants were between the ages of 14 and 60. What the researchers found was that the epileptic participants had [a significant amount of] “abnormalities in their brain structure, involving subcortical regions, cerebellum and cortical gray matter thickness and volume in the temporal and extratemporal lobes.”

They also found that “increasing chronological age was associated with progressive changes in cortical, subcortical and cerebellar regions for both epilepsy subjects and healthy controls. The pattern of change was similar for both groups, but epilepsy patients always showed more extensive abnormalities.”

What this means is that the epilepsy patients displayed age-accelerated expansion of the lateral and third ventricles.

“The anatomic abnormalities in patients with epilepsy indicate a significant neurodevelopmental impact,” Herman said. “Patients with epilepsy are burdened with significant neurodevelopmental challenges due to these cumulative brain abnormalities.”

Epilepsy is a difficult condition to live with and many drugs are used to try to prevent the seizures which characterize the condition. One of those drugs is Topamax. Topamax can cause birth defects in babies exposed to the drug in-utero. Some of those birth defects linked to Topamax include PPHN, oral clefts, neural tube defects and heat, 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.

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