Navigation Links
Drug prevents seizure progression in model of epilepsy
Date:5/4/2009

PITTSBURGHCarnegie Mellon University researchers have identified a new anticonvulsant compound that has the potential to stop the development of epilepsy. The findings are published in the March issue of the journal Epilepsia.

The research discovery builds on previous work identifying a specific molecular target whose increased activity is associated with seizure disorders, a potassium channel known as the BK channel.

"We have found a new anticonvulsant compound that eliminates seizures in a model of epilepsy," said Alison Barth, associate professor of biological sciences at Carnegie Mellon's Mellon College of Science. "The drug works by inhibiting ion channels whose role in epilepsy was only recently discovered. Understanding how these channels work in seizure disorders, and being able to target them with a simple treatment, represents a significant advance in our ability to understand and treat epilepsy."

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder marked by abnormal electrical activity in the brain that leads to recurring seizures. A person who has a first seizure is statistically much more likely to have a second, and with each subsequent seizure, the chance of having another seizure grows. A person is often diagnosed with epilepsy after having two or more seizures that have no other apparent cause.

In prior studies, Barth and colleagues were the first to link BK channels, ion channels that allow electrically charged potassium ions to move out of cells, to sporadic epilepsy. Previous studies had shown that these channels were genetically altered in a few rare individuals who suffer from the disease, but Barth and colleagues demonstrated that seizures themselves could lead to the same alterations in BK channel function. Potassium ions move through the channels, starting and stopping the electrical impulses that allow neurons to communicate with one another. The Carnegie Mellon researchers found that after a first seizure, BK channel function was markedly enhanced. As a result, the neurons became overly excitable and were firing with more speed, intensity and spontaneity, leading Barth to believe that the abnormal increased activity of the channels might play a role in causing subsequent seizures and the emergence of epilepsy.

In the current study, Barth tested this theory by blocking the ion channels using a BK-channel antagonist called paxilline. Using an experimental model for epilepsy, Barth asked whether paxilline could reduce or prevent experimentally induced seizures, as it could normalize aberrant brain activity induced by previous seizures. Remarkably, Barth and colleagues Jesse Sheehan and Brett Benedetti discovered that the compound was effective at completely blocking subsequent seizures.

"The drug is orally available, and works in the low nanomolar range," said Barth, noting that these characteristics, which mean the drug is effective in low concentrations and can be taken as a pill, make it an especially promising compound for treatment in epilepsy patients. While most anticonvulsants currently used to treat epilepsy work to directly inhibit the activity of neurotransmitters that causes seizures, few compounds interact with specific ion channels, especially potassium channels.

The researchers believe that targeting the BK channels and the abnormal brain activity that they induce might one day be used as a way to prevent the progression of seizure disorders over time, thus attacking the root cause of epilepsy.

According to Barth, the next steps will be to further investigate paxilline to see whether it is an effective anticonvulsant treatment for multiple types of seizures. The investigators continue to look at how BK channels are regulated by seizures to better understand the development of epilepsy.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jocelyn Duffy
jhduffy@andrew.cmu.edu
412-268-9982
Carnegie Mellon University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Sexual harassment from males prevents female bonding, says study
2. Targeted drug therapy prevents exercise-induced arrhythmias
3. Alzheimers disease therapeutic prevents long-term damage from TBI in pre-clinical studies
4. Modern lifestyle prevents tooth decay
5. Decreasing insulin resistance prevents obesity-related cardiovascular damage
6. Exercise increases brain growth factor and receptors, prevents stem cell drop in middle age
7. Geisinger research: Antimalarial drug prevents diabetes in arthritis patients
8. Resveratrol prevents fat accumulation in livers of alcoholic mice
9. Anti-cancer drug prevents, reverses cardiovascular damage in mouse model of premature aging disorder
10. Chemical compound prevents cancer in lab
11. A compound extracted from olives inhibits cancer cells growth and prevents their appearance
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/1/2016)... BURNABY, Canada , February 1, 2016 ... new technological advancements to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture ...   --> Rising sales of consumer electronics ... intuitive gesture control market size ... of consumer electronics coupled with new technological advancements to ...
(Date:1/25/2016)... BLUE BELL, Pa. , Jan. 25, 2016   Unisys ... facial recognition system at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, ... and Border Protection (CBP) identify imposters attempting to enter ... or do not belong to them. pilot testing ... rolled out initially at three terminals at JFK during January 2016. ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... , Jan. 20, 2016 A market that ... directly benefit from the explosion in genomics knowledge. Learn ... Sound Research. A range of dynamic trends are pushing ... - personalized medicine - pharmacogenomics - pathogen evolution - ... large markets - greater understanding of the role of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/6/2016)... , ... February 06, 2016 , ... ... , The Center for Excellence in Education Sponsors Teacher Training Program , ... February 4, 2016 – The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) will sponsor ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Feb. 5, 2016 Australian-US drug discovery and development ... the appointment of a new Chairman, Mr John O,Connor ... effective immediately. James Garner , has also ... and former Acting CEO, Mr Iain Ross , will ... --> James Garner , has also been formally ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... ... by Bloomsburg University’s Digital Forensics Club, takes place February 5-6 at the ... features 20+ speakers and activities such as workshops and competitions for ample ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... N.J. , Feb. 4, 2016 ContraVir ... focused on the development and commercialization of targeted antiviral ... CEO & Investor Conference 2016, to be held February ... Source Capital Group,s 2016 Disruptive Growth & Healthcare Conference, ... on February 10-11, 2016. James Sapirstein , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: