Navigation Links
How metabolism and brain activity are linked
Date:1/16/2014

A new study by scientists at McGill University and the University of Zurich shows a direct link between metabolism in brain cells and their ability to signal information. The research may explain why the seizures of many epilepsy patients can be controlled by a specially formulated diet.

The findings, published Jan. 16 in Nature Communications, reveal that metabolism controls the processes that inhibit brain activity, such as that involved in convulsions. The study uncovers a link between how brain cells make energy and how the same cells signal information processes that neuroscientists have often assumed to be distinct and separate.

"Inhibition in the brain is commonly targeted in clinical practice," notes Derek Bowie, Canada Research Chair in Receptor Pharmacology at McGill and corresponding author of the study. "For example, drugs that alleviate anxiety, induce anesthesia, or even control epilepsy work by strengthening brain inhibition. These pharmacological approaches can have their drawbacks, since patients often complain of unpleasant side effects."

The experiments showed an unexpected link between how the mitochondria of brain cells make energy and how the same cells signal information. Brain cells couple these two independent functions by using small chemical messengers, called reactive oxygen species (or ROS), that are normally associated with signaling cell death. While ROS are known to have roles in diseases of aging, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, the new study shows they also play important roles in the healthy brain.

The findings emerged from an ongoing collaboration between Prof. Bowie's laboratory in McGill's Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics and a research team headed by Dr. Jean-Marc Fritschy, Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Zurich and current director of the Neuroscience Center Zurich (ZNZ). The researchers have the longer term aim of trying to understand why the seizures of many epilepsy patients -- especially young children can be treated with a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet known as the ketogenic diet.

The idea that diet can control seizures was noticed as far back as ancient Greece, during periods of fasting. From the 1920s until the 1950s, the ketogenic diet was widely used to treat epilepsy patients. With the introduction of anticonvulsant drugs in the 1950s, the dietary approach fell out of favour with doctors. But because anticonvulsant drugs don't work for 20% to 30% of patients, there has been a resurgence in use of the ketogenic diet.

"Since our study shows that brain cells have their own means to strengthen inhibition," explains Prof Bowie, "our work points to potentially new ways in which to control a number of important neurological conditions including epilepsy."


'/>"/>

Contact: Chris Chipello
christopher.chipello@mcgill.ca
514-398-4201
McGill University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Nutrition influences metabolism through circadian rhythms, UCI study finds
2. SIRT5 regulation has dramatic effect on mitochondrial metabolism
3. Brain may play key role in blood sugar metabolism and development of diabetes
4. Hippocampal and thalamic neuronal metabolism in a putative rat model of schizophrenia
5. Gathering information about food is not top priority for individuals with high metabolisms
6. Study maps human metabolism in health and disease
7. International consortium builds Google Map of human metabolism
8. Metal ions regulate terpenoid metabolism in insects
9. March of the pathogens: Parasite metabolism can foretell disease ranges under climate change
10. Plants cut the mustard for basic discoveries in metabolism
11. FASEB SRC announces conference registration open for: NAD Metabolism & Signaling
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/30/2017)... -- The research team of The Hong Kong Polytechnic ... by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae recovery and matching technology, ... accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, immigration control, security of ... ... A research team led by Dr ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... India , March 28, 2017 ... IP, Biometrics), Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software ... Vertical, and Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published ... Billion in 2016 and is projected to reach USD ... between 2017 and 2022. The base year considered for ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , Mar 24, 2017 Research and ... Access System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" ... ... to grow at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next ... This industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/17/2017)... , ... July 17, 2017 , ... ... characterized by a wide range of overlapping clinical features. The advancement of targeted ... the field of NDD research and testing. , However, designing a custom ...
(Date:7/16/2017)... ... July 16, 2017 , ... ... instruments announced the launch of its new line of Rocking and Waving Shakers ... waving shaker models (both analog and digital) for laboratory applications in a variety ...
(Date:7/14/2017)... ... July 13, 2017 , ... Dr. Joshua Mondlick has introduced the ... his practice, Mondlick Perio, in the Phoenix area. Dr. Mondlick is at ... only FDA cleared laser treatment to re-grow bone and with significantly less pain than ...
(Date:7/13/2017)... ... July 13, 2017 , ... ... Specialty Pharmacy. URAC is the independent leader in promoting healthcare quality through accreditation, ... commitment to quality care, improved processes and better patient outcomes. , ÔÇťAchieving ...
Breaking Biology Technology: