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New hope for epilepsy sufferers

Scientists have developed a new type of drug which is capable of reducing the number of epileptic seizures in sufferers.

Perampanel, the result of trials carried out by researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, is even effective in those patients where the condition is resistant to current medication.

Doctors explained that the drug works by inhibiting a glutamate receptor in the brain, which subsequently blocks an excitatory response to cut the seizure rate by more than 50 per cent.

Study leader Gregory Krauss said that these sites had been a target for epilepsy research for years and progress had been "very difficult", but this breakthrough was "good news" for sufferers – especially for the drug-resistant population.

The Brain Research Trust states there around 40 different types of epilepsy and the Johns Hopkins scientists added that Perampanel could reduce the frequency of all types of seizures including limb twitching and whole-body convulsions.

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