Q&A: Deep brain stimulation may reduce seizures caused by epilepsy

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Dear Mayo Clinic: How does deep brain stimulation for epilepsy work? Who’s a good candidate for this treatment? Is it effective?

A: Deep brain stimulation is a technique that uses a wire placed permanently in the brain to send electrical pulses to the brain. It has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat epilepsy that hasn’t responded to other forms of therapy. In most people, deep brain stimulation doesn’t completely eliminate seizures caused by epilepsy, but it can significantly reduce seizures.

Epilepsy is a central nervous system disorder. In a person with epilepsy, nerve cell activity in the brain becomes abnormal, causing seizures and sometimes loss of consciousness. The symptoms of a seizure can vary widely from one person to another. For example, some people with epilepsy stare blankly for a few seconds during a seizure or appear confused. Others may lose consciousness and have repetitive jerking of their arms and legs.

Even mild epilepsy requires treatment because seizures can be dangerous during activities such as driving. Medication to reduce or eliminate seizures usually is the first step in treatment. For about two-thirds of people with epilepsy, seizures are effectively controlled with the first or second anti-seizure drug they try.

When medication doesn’t provide adequate seizure control, surgery may be an option. Epilepsy surgery typically involves removing the area of the brain that’s causing seizures. That approach only works, however, when the place within the brain that’s triggering the seizures can be identified clearly. In some people, that’s not possible. It’s those individuals who are most likely to benefit from deep brain stimulation.

Deep brain stimulation for epilepsy involves one surgery where you are asleep. During surgery, the surgeon implants a thin wire lead with several contacts, or electrodes, at the tip into an area deep within the brain called the “thalamus.” The thalamus is basically a relay station that distributes signals that come from the body’s senses to other regions of the brain.

After an imaging exam confirms that the electrodes are placed properly, a battery-operated device called a pulse generator is implanted under the skin near the collarbone. Wires running from the electrodes in the brain are placed under the skin and connected to the generator. The generator is programmed to send continuous electrical pulses to the brain.

A large clinical research trial found that in people with epilepsy whose seizures didn’t respond to other therapies, around 15 percent became seizure-free for more than six months after deep brain stimulation. Although that number is fairly low, it represents significant—often life-changing—improvement for those individuals.

But the goal of deep brain stimulation typically is not complete relief of all seizures. Instead, it’s used as a method to reduce the number of seizures a person has. The same clinical trial showed that between 50 and 60 percent of patients in the study had a decrease in their seizures in response to deep brain stimulation. The research also showed that within the group who did respond, the number of seizures they had continued to decrease over time.

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China halts work by team on gene-edited babies

China’s government ordered a halt Thursday to work by a medical team that claimed to have helped make the world’s first gene-edited babies, as a group of leading scientists declared that it’s still too soon to try to make permanent changes to DNA that can be inherited by future generations.

Chinese Vice Minister of Science and Technology Xu Nanping told state broadcaster CCTV that his ministry is strongly opposed to the efforts that reportedly produced twin girls born earlier this month. Xu called the team’s actions illegal and unacceptable and said an investigation had been ordered, but made no mention of specific actions taken.

Researcher He Jiankui claims to have altered the DNA of the twins to try to make them resistant to infection with the AIDS virus. Mainstream scientists have condemned the experiment, and universities and government groups are investigating.

He’s experiment “crossed the line of morality and ethics adhered to by the academic community and was shocking and unacceptable,” Xu said.

A group of leading scientists gathered in Hong Kong this week for an international conference on gene editing, the ability to rewrite the code of life to try to correct or prevent diseases.

Although the science holds promise for helping people already born and studies testing that are underway, a statement issued Thursday by the 14-member conference leaders says it’s irresponsible to try it on eggs, sperm or embryos except in lab research because not enough is known yet about its risks or safety.

The conference was rocked by the Chinese researcher’s claim to have helped make the world’s first gene-edited babies. Conference leaders called for an independent investigation of the claim by He, who spoke to the group Wednesday as international criticism of his claim mounted.

There is no independent confirmation of what He says he did. He was scheduled to speak again at the conference on Thursday, but he left Hong Kong and through a spokesman sent a statement saying “I will remain in China, my home country, and cooperate fully with all inquiries about my work. My raw data will be made available for third party review.”

Several prominent scientists said the case showed a failure of the field to police itself and the need for stricter principles or regulations.

“It’s not unreasonable to expect the scientific community” to follow guidelines, said David Baltimore, a Nobel laureate from California Institute of Technology who led the panel.

There already are some rules that should have prevented what He says he did, said Alta Charo, a University of Wisconsin lawyer and bioethicist and a conference organizer.

“I think the failure was his, not the scientific community,” Charo said.

Gene editing for reproductive purposes might be considered in the future “but only when there is compelling medical need,” with clear understanding of risks and benefits, and certain other conditions, said Dr. Victor Dzau, president of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, one of the conference sponsors.

“Not following these guidelines would be an irresponsible act,” he added.

Other sponsors of the three-day conference are the Academy of Sciences of Hong Kong, the Royal Society of the United Kingdom and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and U.S. National Academy Sciences.



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“About the malignancy of tumors, ideally, can only be judged by a pathologist”

According to various estimates, the percentage of discrepancies between clinical and morphological diagnosis in Oncology is up to 30-40%. Official statistics are not gathered. The most serious errors are those when find cancer where there is none, or, conversely, missing a malignant tumor. Such cases are less, but the consequences are the same incorrectly chosen tactics of treatment, and the sad result.Thus, the farther the patient is from Central hospitals, the fewer the chances of adequate diagnosis.

Who are they cancer patients without morphological verification of diagnosis and stage of the disease, and what to do with them, tried to find out in the Chelyabinsk regional clinical center of Oncology and nuclear medicine. About the first results of a study presented at the recent Moscow International forum of Oncology and radiology, told Mednovosti head. orgettable and cancer register Irina Aksenova.

Men see me as an exotic adventure: a wheelchair rider Laura about her love life

It took time, and some men, until you found your way in the relationship jungle. In the meantime, FOCUS-white-Online-guest author Laura Gehlhaar exactly what to expect from the love – and sees her wheelchair as an “asshole filter” that protects you from disappointments.

This specific kind of men arrive at the women at first glance, well, the can have any and all of the fucked, to see out of sheer boredom in me their personal challenge. But that is not enough for me, has never done it. Because I am very much more than that.

At the same time, I no longer strut, but also the perfect partner of your dreams – which may also mean always perfect here – to find, and I’ve learned to have no utopian expectations.

My appearance seems to have a fascinating effect

Honestly, that is just too exhausting. Because no matter how much I know what I want in a Partner, or how much I compromise’m willing to take: I can’t prevent that, in my compared To a movie going on in the Moment where he sees me sitting up.

My paradoxical phenomenon seems to many men to have a fascinating effect: On the one hand, I’m very self-aware, to make sure with my body, I’m loud and sometimes funny and seem outwardly strong and independent. On the other hand, I carry around a very obvious weakness with me. Only by my pure Appearance I spread automatically every bread that I have experienced in my life, already hard, formative times and perhaps help am in need of.

Maybe I’m hiding sometimes behind the disability

Many men are torn, in which drawer you make me now want to put: I Am the confident, beautiful, fairly clever Kodderschnauze or the limited, helpless, and unfortunately, disabled blonde?! It is a paradox, it’s confusing, it’s fascinating. And it’s fine for me.

Me, personally, it’s not different. Also, I sometimes waver in my reactions to men: If I don’t want to let criticism and pain to me, it is very tempting to push the Partner in the blame for the Failure in the shoes. If he can only deal with my disability, then we would still be together… … me, the guy finds to be stupid, but maybe just dominant, cocky, or simply, I do not look better. Just as I sometimes can imagine that for someone to find me just a little, because I’m exactly his type of woman. Maybe corner I hide in me even in those moments behind my disability, from my own insecurity, who knows.

I also reduced Sex under

Another phenomenon of my disability is that I am due to my limited mobility, reduced Sex. How is that going to work for, if you are not even able to run?, I was asked once. Or it is assumed that I can’t just be passive rumliege and the Sex anyway. Such questions and ideas are stupid. They are evidence of the lack of imagination and lack of imagination.

The Good thing about good Sex is that there is the good Sex. Each of us must discover for yourself, what feels good, where and how to get to his satisfaction and how you can give back to satisfaction of his partner, or his Partner, whether with or without a disability. A good feeling of the body, and communication skills are arguably the key to a fulfilling sex.

I lead a very fulfilling life

Because of my disability brings me on a daily basis, intensively with my body and to optimize my creativity, I lead a very fulfilling life. And since I have also achieved a good Portion of Humor, also black, is secured to the fun and the passion.

Relationship means, in addition to the common holidays, parties and morning Sex, but also work. In certain situations you have to put it back to the partner’s sake and happiness. You do not compromise, the feel but in the best case, even compromises. Because if you really love, it is also the most Beautiful, is when the other is happy. An interaction allows you to grow and to know yourself better learning.

For a long time I was ashamed to like me for my inability

With my disability I have met have often been the prejudice that my respective Partner must be received in our relationship especially a lot of compromises. My Partner, hear the sayings, like: Why are you doing this?, or Did you think about this? On one hand this is a great pity, because such rates provide the freedom of decision and, ultimately, your love for me into question. On the other hand, it leaves me but also annoyed when my Partner is glorified as the strong, courageous and caring man and people Pat him approvingly on the shoulder. Just because he has fallen in love with a woman in a wheelchair. I feel moved by it in a bad light and as a plea to be stamped.

This prejudiced behavior brought me often to the embarrassment, to want to prove the opposite. For a long time I was ashamed to like me for my constant and felt in the debt. And so I dragged myself to Festivals and concerts and went to my physical limits, and often beyond them. Or I ordered in the Restaurant, quite deliberately, no Steak, because I was in the right Hand a little force and not in front of others my Partner for help when Cutting wanted to ask.

A disability is not prevented from being an asshole

I wanted to deliver my environment no breeding ground for such prejudice, and tried and tried to be as self-sufficient as possible. Until I discovered that for me, this constant forced, my normality to prove to want to be much more strained, than be open and honest with the consequences of my disability and on the opinion of other shit. And a giant Turd.

If I get today’s message is that people attest to me a heavy, abnormal life due to my disability, I go out, more indulgent to become, just assume that these people have had no experiences with disabled people and that the media and other social authorities, a deficit-oriented image of disability and nurture. Maybe you just don’t know that disabled people are being as active and willing to compromise in relationships as their non-disabled partners. To have a disability does not have to mean less or more to put to. Just as a disability keeps one from being an asshole.

A man must for me to be brave, strong and caring be

It is a life-long gamble to a healthy equilibrium remains, as in every other relationship on this planet. Every man who is for me to decide that, in addition to some other properties also brave, strong and caring . I would choose no man who does not bring these three qualities, for me. I like these qualities in men. You do me good. Whether this is due to my disability, I do not know. I don’t know myself as an adult woman, Yes, without a wheelchair.

However, I know that I bring these traits and you would like to, accordingly, also in the case of my husband. This is probably my luck, because the other way I do not believe that ever a man I would engage in, is not brave, strong and caring.

My disability has shaped my personality

Only someone who is confident and knows what he wants and what he is good for, is to get me, a strong woman with a disability. Not because he can see by these features of my wheelchair and my disability, but because he takes due to these properties, all in the first place consciously, as a part of me that accepted and even contact me loves.

Only those who can remember, as a man by my side to yourself and know that modesty means to limit the thing – in this case, then I swings. No man who is not open to change in perspective that recognizes diversity and to appreciate, you know, would have the self-confidence to want me at his side.

Because I am me. Laura. Funny, determined, arrogant and opinionated. Committed, enthusiastic, hard-judging, and in the evening, like a delicate flower lying in bed and love hoping. My disability has shaped my personality, and I like the people, the they formed. And the Greatest thing about you: My disability is no longer automatically filter out all those who see me as a disabled person whose roll is chair as a Symbol of passivity and weakness. My disability is my personal asshole filter.

To The Person

Laura Gehlhaar was born in 1983 in Düsseldorf, Germany and studied social pedagogy and psychology in the Netherlands and Berlin. In 2008, she came for love and a Job in geriatric psychiatry, to Berlin. In 2014, she completed a mediation and coaching training (univ.) and now works as an author and Coach. She gives lectures about inclusion and accessibility and writes in her Blog, Mrs Gehlhaar about the big city life and the wheelchair ride. In September 2016, her first book, “Can you still make it?” in the Heyne publishing house.

This Text first appeared on the Blog Mrs Gehlhaar.