Action Medical Research

Epilepsy - using light as a possible treatment

Investigating if light therapy can be used to treat epilepsy.

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It ran from to

Registered Charity in England and Wales (208701)

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    Categories

  • Health/WellbeingHealth/Wellbeing
  • Medical ResearchMedical Research

    Helping

  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)

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Situation

Epilepsy is the tendency to have seizures and is the most common, serious neurological condition, affecting around 450,000 people in the UK including up to 58,000 children. Recurrent seizures can have a devastating impact on children with epilepsy. Although antiepileptic medications can be effective in controlling seizures they can have side effects such as drowsiness and slowed-up thinking and 30% of sufferers continue to experience seizures despite taking many anti-epileptic medications. At present, there are few other widely available treatment options for the condition. This study will investigate whether light therapy may be an effective treatment for some people with epilepsy. Light treatment is already an established treatment for depression and the chemical systems in the brain that are disrupted when someone becomes depressed overlap with those that can be affected during some epileptic seizures. Exposure to light using a light box can lead to an improvement in mood for people who are depressed. This study will find out whether light therapy could also lead to a decrease in seizures in people who have epilepsy. At present, antiepileptic drugs are the only real treatment option for millions of patients worldwide, and many children find it difficult to tolerate the side effects of these drugs. If light therapy proves to be an effective treatment for some patients, it would be a very significant medical breakthrough.

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