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Scientists Better Understand the Link Between Stress and Seizures in Patients with Epilepsy

Posted on June 16, 2016 by Disability Help Group

The link between seizure frequency and stress in epileptic patients is an established fact. What doctors have yet to understand is why the two are linked and how to reduce the seizure rate in times of stress. Recent research published in the Science Signaling medical journal may have important implications for improving the lives of epilepsy sufferers.

Past research has established stress and anxiety as triggers for epileptic seizures, and it is known that reducing stress can help reduce the risk of seizures. For many people with epilepsy, reducing stress is no simple task, and therefore a better treatment is necessary to improve their quality of life.

Researchers at the University of Western Ontario studied the activity of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in the brains of rats. CRF is the neurotransmitter that regulates how the body responds to stress. In the brains of rats without epilepsy, CRF reduced activity in the region of the brain that causes seizures in human epileptic patients. The rats with epilepsy saw an increase in activity, potentially raising the risk of seizure activity.

Researchers are now looking into CRF-blocking methods to help reduce the risk of seizures in epileptic patients with a history of stress-induced seizures. The study may also have implications in other neurological disorders such as schizophrenia and depression. Researchers may use the same study methods to look for other neurochemical processes related to these disorders.

Severe Epilepsy Can Qualify You for Social Security Disability Benefits

Epilepsy is a neurological condition listed on the Social Security Administration’s listing of impairments. If your condition meets certain requirements and you have had epilepsy for at least 12 months or a doctor expects it to last 12 months or result in death, you may qualify for disability benefits.

Contact the Disability Help Group at 800-800-2009 to schedule a consultation with one of our disability advocates.