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Brain & Nervous System

Ted Kennedy's Seizure Explained

Ted Kennedy, age 76, was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston yesterday after suffering a seizure at his Cape Cod home. The first report was that he had suffered from a stroke, but that has been ruled out. He is reportedly doing fine and has no after-effects from the seizure, although he is still undergoing tests in the hospital.

Older Epilepsy Drugs Do Not Prevent First Seizure

Many physicians prescribe antiepileptic medications to patients with brain tumors, even to those with no seizure history. Now, a new review of studies casts doubt on the wisdom of using these drugs - which can carry serious side effects - to prevent a first seizure in these patients.

"There has always been a question about whether it is worth using antiepileptic medications to protect against seizures in patients with a brain tumor even though we can't predict who will actually have a seizure," said lead review author Ivo Tremont-Lukats, M.D.

A Small Gland With Big Influence

The pituitary is a small bean-shaped gland that sits at the base of the skull, below the brain and behind the nasal sinuses. It is often called the "master gland" because it controls the functions of all the other endocrine glands overseeing growth and development, sex drive and reproductive functions, thyroid function, metabolism, water balance and the stress response.

Brain Lesions More Common Than Previously Thought

New research shows cerebral microbleeds, which are lesions in the brain, are more common in people over 60 than previously thought. "We found a three-to-four-fold higher overall prevalence of cerebral microbleeds compared to other studies," according to study author Monique M.B. Breteler, MD, PhD, with the Erasmus MC University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. "These findings are of major importance since cerebral microbleeds likely reflect cerebrovascular pathology and may be associated with an increased risk of cerebrovascular problems."

New Technique Uses Onyx To Fill Hard-To-Treat Aneurysms

On Sunday, Diane Long struggled with double vision because of a large aneurysm in her brain compressing a nerve that controls eye movement. On Monday, she became one of the first in the country to have surgery using a noninvasive procedure and a newly developed material called Onyx.