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Carbon dioxide "a treatment for fever-related epilepsy in children"

20 June, 2007

Recent research suggests that carbon dioxide (CO2) can
offer a new way to prevent fever-related epileptic seizures. The
discovery was made by the NordForsk-financed Nordic Centre of
Excellence on Water Imbalance Related Disorders (WIRED).

One of the researchers behind the discovery, Professor Kai Kaila from
WIRED said "if our results are confirmed in the clinical tests
currently ongoing, CO2 enriched air could prove a simple, safe,
effective and practically cost-free way to treat fever-related seizures
among small children. This could have both immediate benefits - as the
seizures are stopped very quickly - as well as more long-term benefits,
by reducing the risk of developing epilepsy at an older age."

The experiments carried out by WIRED have shown that epileptic seizures
induced by fever can be stopped within 20 seconds and safely by simply
adding 5 per cent CO2 to the inhaled air.

Such
fever-related seizures only affect children under the age of five, but
experimental studies have shown that they could make the brain prone to
epilepsy later in life.

The therapy will not be
limited only to fever-induced seizures, however. Evidence suggests that
the treatment can also be effective in stopping some other types of
epileptic seizures, potentially offering a welcome treatment to people
with epilepsy all over the world.