Climate change

New study: Climate change likely aggravates brain conditions, including epilepsy

Following a review of 332 papers published across the world between 1968 and 2023, a team, led by Professor Sanjay Sisodiya (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology), said they expect the scale of the potential effects of climate change on neurological diseases to be substantial.

They considered 19 different nervous system conditions, chosen on the basis of the Global Burden of Disease 2016 study, including stroke, migraine, Alzheimer’s, meningitis, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.

Professor Sisodiya, who is also Director of Genomics at the Epilepsy Society and a founding member of Epilepsy Climate Change, said: “There is clear evidence for an impact of the climate on some brain conditions, especially stroke and infections of the nervous system.

“The climatic variation that was shown to have an effect on brain diseases included extremes of temperature (both low and high), and greater temperature variation throughout the course of day – especially when these measures were seasonally unusual.

“Nighttime temperatures may be particularly important, as higher temperatures through the night can disrupt sleep. Poor sleep is known to aggravate a number of brain conditions.”

This report is important as it highlights possible increased triggers for seizures in people living with epilepsy. More information on triggers can be found here.

For more information on report see here.