Early treatment stops epilepsy in its tracks
Yale School of Medicine researchers have shown for the first time that it is possible to suppress the development of epilepsy in genetically predisposed animals—which could open the door to treating epilepsy as a preventable disease.
According to the study published this month in Epilepsia, early treatment of epilepsy-prone rats with the anti-convulsant medication ethosuximide before the onset of seizures led to a marked suppression of seizures both later in life and months after treatment stopped.
“Current treatments for epilepsy may control seizures, but they do nothing to alter the underlying disease,” said Hal Blumenfeld, M.D., associate professor of neurology and lead author of the study. “These findings are important because they set the stage for prevention of epilepsy in genetically susceptible people.”
Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder that affects about 50 million people worldwide. It is characterized by seizures—temporary loss of consciousness or muscular control—that are precipitated by abnormal electrical overload on neurons within the brain.
Using a combination of molecular profiling, electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings, and power spectral analysis, Blumenfeld and his colleagues demonstrated that ethosuximide effectively blocked the expression of an epilepsy-associated maladaptive protein within neurons of the brain and reduced the number of seizures in treated animals.
“These findings prove that prevention of epilepsy in people is an achievable goal,” Blumenfeld said. “Strategies for primary prevention of diseases like epilepsy will be increasingly important as genetic prediction of these diseases improves.”
He said the results must be confirmed in other animals and with other medications before moving on to human treatment trials.
Jacqueline Weaver | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...