Navigation Links
Rutgers research tackles childhood epilepsy

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. Rutgers researchers have discovered a potential new way to treat childhood epilepsy using a widely available therapeutic drug.

Rutgers neuroscientist Gabriella D'Arcangelo and her colleagues have published their research findings in the journal Disease Models and Mechanisms (in press) and the paper has just appeared online.

In their quest for new therapeutic approaches, the researchers are investigating the molecular basis of the disease. The article describes the first use of a mouse model of cortical dysplasia, a malformation of the brain that is most often the cause of childhood epilepsy. Introducing the drug rapamycin, originally used to prevent rejection in organ transplants, suppressed epileptic seizures in the mice.

Epilepsy is the third most common neurological disorder in the United States after Alzheimer's disease and stroke. It currently affects more than 326,000 children under age 15. More than 90,000 of them have severe seizures that cannot be adequately treated. The children often go on to develop cognitive problems due to recurrent and uncontrolled seizures and the combined effects of heavy medication. They may also suffer consequences from having parts of their brains removed during surgery.

According to the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), approximately 45 percent of the pediatric epilepsy surgery cases (patients under age 18) are due to cortical dysplasia. A staggering 75 percent of surgery patients under age 2 have the condition.

"The surgery is not without risks, and while it may help control the seizures, it does not work in all cases," said D'Arcangelo, an associate professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. "Clearly there is a pressing need to come up with new strategies for treatment."

D'Arcangelo's mutant mice lack a gene (Pten) that suppresses cell growth in some neurons, resulting in these mutants displaying molecular, cellular and physiological traits of cortical dysplasia. The researchers treated the mice with rapamycin. It had already shown promise in a different mouse model for treating tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a subtype of cortical dysplasia.

"We demonstrated that rapamycin is a novel and effective anti-epileptic agent that suppresses seizures in our mice, as well as in the TSC model, and this has raised some hope for the future," said D'Arcangelo. "This drug is being tested on human patients of tuberous sclerosis in a multicenter study involving six TSC clinics throughout the United States. I hope it will soon be tested for all cortical dysplasia patients."


Contact: Joseph Blumberg
732-932-7084 x652
Rutgers University

Related biology news :

1. Rutgers study finds many consumers ignore food product recalls
2. Evolution and climate change research advances at Rutgers-Camden
3. Rutgers receives US$10 million to establish Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health
4. Rutgers scholar authors definitive biography of reproductive medicine pioneer
5. No helicopter moms among Rutgers mutant mice
6. $3.2M for Rutgers to apply biology, engineering, physical sciences toward stem cells
7. Rutgers biologist to study worms in Amazon, glaciers
8. Better protection for biomedial devices could result from Rutgers-Camden research
9. Raydiance collaborates with Rutgers, MTF to develop innovative tissue processing approaches
10. USDA Cooperative Agreement funds mosquito project at Rutgers
11. Rutgers scientists research reveals critical knowledge about the nervous system
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Rutgers research tackles childhood epilepsy
(Date:11/9/2015)... ) ... "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" ... ) has announced the addition of ... 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... ) has announced the addition of the ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... November 4, 2015 --> ... report published by Transparency Market Research "Home Security Solutions Market ... Forecast 2015 - 2022", the global home security solutions market is ... by 2022. The market is estimated to expand at ... 2015 to 2022. Rising security needs among customers at ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015   MedNet Solutions , an ... spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce that ... Association (MHTA) as one of only three finalists for ... – Small and Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor ... shown superior technology innovation and leadership. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... In harsh ... Insertion points for in-line sensors can represent a weak spot where leaking process ... series of retractable sensor housings , which are designed to tolerate extreme process ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 HemoShear Therapeutics, ... discovering drugs for metabolic disorders, announced today the ... its Board of Directors (BOD). Mr. Watkins is ... Human Genome Sciences (HGS), and also served as ... Jim Powers , Chairman and CEO of ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... CHICAGO , Nov. 24, 2015 Women with ... screening CT exams face a higher risk of lung cancer ... being presented next week at the annual meeting of the ... --> --> Lung ... are classified as solid or subsolid based on their appearance ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... The royalty-free a greement ... develop daclatasvir for 112 low- and m ... --> --> The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) ... signing an agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb for daclatasvir, a novel ... of the HCV virus.  The royalty-free licence will enable generic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: