Navigation Links
More than fish bait: Worms unlock secrets to new epilepsy treatments
Date:12/9/2009

A team of scientists from The University of Alabama used worms to reel in information that they hope will lead to a greater understanding of cellular mechanisms that may be exploited to treat epilepsy. In a new research report in the journal GENETICS (http://www.genetics.org), the researchers explain how the transparent roundworm, C. elegans, helped them identify key "molecular switches" that control the transport of a molecule (gamma-aminobutyric acid or "GABA") that if manipulated within our cells, might prevent the onset of seizures.

"It is our hope that this work serves to accelerate the path toward the identification of genetic factors that cause a susceptibility to epilepsy," said Guy A. Caldwell, Ph.D., co-author of the study from the Department of Biological Sciences at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. "Simultaneously, this work has the potential to uncover new avenues toward therapeutic development to control or prevent seizures in the future."

To make this finding, the researchers conducted experiments involving drugs known to affect neuronal activity in combination with DNA mutations in genetic factors shared between C. elegans and humans. Changes in the worm's neuronal activity led to repetitive convulsions believed to be similar to those experienced in epilepsy. These convulsions were observed under a microscope, and videos of those events were used to evaluate the severity of the neuronal changes. At the same time, the researchers used a green fluorescent protein to "tag" or "label" the cellular locale and delivery of GABA in neurons. This tagging allowed the researchers to see the specific genetic factors that led to abnormal movement of GABA in neurons as they coincided with worm seizures and to make appropriate comparisons with worms from the control group.

"Although much more work must be done before new drugs can be developed for people, these findings could offer hope to people with this devastating and frustrating condition," said Mark Johnston, Editor-in-Chief of GENETICS. "It may be hard to believe, but the cellular processes that occur in these worms are likely to be similar to those in humans. This work has the potential to significantly advance our understanding of what causes seizures in people, and could point the way to a remedy."


'/>"/>

Contact: Tracey DePellegrin Connelly
td2p@andrew.cmu.edu
412-268-1812
Genetics Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scientists alter sexual orientation in worms
2. Drug commonly used to treat bipolar disorder dramatically increases lifespan in worms
3. Worms take the sniff test to reveal sex differences in brain
4. Snoozing worms help Penn researchers explain the evolution of sleep
5. After more than 100 years apart, webworms devastate New Zealand parsnips
6. Rusty worms in the brain
7. Rutgers biologist to study worms in Amazon, glaciers
8. Sex and lifespan linked in worms
9. Almost 7 million pregnant in sub-Saharan Africa infected with hookworms; at risk of anaemia
10. Longevity, cancer and diet connected: New research in worms could apply to humans
11. Floridas worm grunters collect bait worms by inadvertently imitating mole sounds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/31/2016)... 2016   LegacyXChange, ... "Company") LegacyXChange is excited to release its ... to be launched online site for trading 100% guaranteed ... will also provide potential shareholders a sense of the ... an industry that is notorious for fraud. The video ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... Ontario , PROVO and ... Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO), which operates the ... for molecular testing, and Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, ... management technology respectively, today announced the launch of a ... next-generation sequencing (NGS) testing panel. NSO ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... JERUSALEM , March 15, 2016 ... Jerusalem , the technology-transfer company of the Hebrew University, ... developer of remote sensing technology of various human biological ... funding, raising $2.0 million from private investors. ... technology, based on the detection of electromagnetic emissions from ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/17/2016)... Switzerland , May 18, 2016 ... GONAL-f® 2.0 prefilled pen following approval by EMA, the ... a leading science and technology company, the new pen ... bring an increased level of confidence to patients during ... new GONAL-f® prefilled pen easier to handle with a ...
(Date:5/17/2016)... ... May 17, 2016 , ... PATH ... they will collaborate to bring a feeding cup to market based on a ... the Craniofacial Center at Seattle Children’s Hospital, thereby ensuring an innovative feeding option ...
(Date:5/17/2016)... ... , ... A new study on mesothelioma trends in Sweden indicates that there ... Mesothelioma has just posted an article on the new research. Click here to ... kidney cancer seem to be more susceptible to mesothelioma, the researchers still aren’t sure ...
(Date:5/17/2016)... ... , ... New tests that go beyond the standard PSA test for detecting ... the patient and doctor want and need to know in individualizing treatment to get ... annual meeting in San Diego, involve using blood, urine and tissue samples with the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: