Navigation Links
A new role for sodium in the brain
Date:8/20/2013

Researchers at McGill University have found that sodium the main chemical component in table salt is a unique "on/off" switch for a major neurotransmitter receptor in the brain. This receptor, known as the kainate receptor, is fundamental for normal brain function and is implicated in numerous diseases, such as epilepsy and neuropathic pain.

Prof. Derek Bowie and his laboratory in McGill's Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, worked with University of Oxford researchers to make the discovery. By offering a different view of how the brain transmits information, their research highlights a new target for drug development. The findings are published in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

Balancing kainate receptor activity is the key to maintaining normal brain function. For example, in epilepsy, kainate activity is thought to be excessive. Thus, drugs which would shut down this activity are expected to be beneficial.

"It has been assumed for decades that the "on/off" switch for all brain receptors lies where the neurotransmitter binds," says Prof. Bowie, who also holds a Canada Research Chair in Receptor Pharmacology. "However, we found a completely separate site that binds individual atoms of sodium and controls when kainate receptors get turned on and off."

The sodium switch is unique to kainate receptors, which means that drugs designed to stimulate this switch, should not act elsewhere in the brain. This would be a major step forward, since drugs often affect many locations, in addition to those they were intended to act on, producing negative side-effects as a result. These so called "off-target effects" for drugs represent one of the greatest challenges facing modern medicine.

"Now that we know how to stimulate kainate receptors, we should be able to design drugs to essentially switch them off," says Dr. Bowie.

Dr. Philip Biggin's lab at Oxford University used computer simulations to predict how the presence or absence of sodium would affect the kainate receptor.


'/>"/>

Contact: Cynthia Lee
cynthia.lee@mcgill.ca
514-398-6754
McGill University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Sodium buildup in brain linked to disability in multiple sclerosis
2. Sodium Buildup in Brain Linked to Disability in MS Patients
3. Salt Institute: IOM Admits Sodium Reduction May Cause Harm, More Studies Needed
4. Sodium Reduction Market by Ingredients to reach $1 Billion by 2018 at a 11.0% CAGR - New Report by MarketsandMarkets
5. Study Suggests Vaccine May Help Kids With Brain Cancer
6. Epilepsy Leads to More Brain Abnormalities Over Time
7. UCLA Brain Injury Research Center gets NCAA funding for research on sports concussions
8. Why is traumatic brain injury increasing among the elderly?
9. Brain Falters Near End of Life, but Games, Puzzles Might Slow Decline
10. Dental X-Rays May Be Linked to Benign Brain Tumors
11. Nonsurgical Method to Measure Brain Pressure Shows Promise
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... According to an article published May 5th on ... concerned about their breath. In fact, it found that more than a third cited unappealing ... caused temporarily by pungent foods or a failure to brush after meals, can typically be ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... The Horizon Foundation for New ... initiative to improve oral health-related awareness, education, prevention and treatment for young people. ... and promote best practices in 10 New Jersey counties where dental health needs ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... announces that Lake City Bank has selected IFN as a fiber transport provider. ... resulting in increased efficiencies and reduced costs. , “IFN provides fiber ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... O'Fallon, MO (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... located in Woodlawn Plaza at 8618 Mexico Road, O’Fallon, MO 63366. He serves patients ... and cosmetic treatments . Dr. Schwarz’s success is reflected in the superior ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... California (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... interest group ADDMI - “Advancing Drug Development through Molecular Imaging.” The focus of ... of the current drug discovery and development pipeline issues. Through ADDMI-IG WMIS will ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... , May 25, 2016  Granger Diagnostics today announced ... for wounds and infections. This test ensures discovery ... select viruses. The test requires only a simple swab ... David G. Bostwick , MD, Chief ... facilitate wound healing: "We are excited to make ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... May 25, 2016 ReportsnReports.com ... research report that provides an overview on therapeutic ... at various stages, therapeutics assessment by drug target, ... and molecule type, along with latest updates, and ... key players involved in the therapeutic development for ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016   ... demonstrating non-inferiority in overall bowel cleansing and superiority in ... c leansing of the ... ) , Norgine B.V. today announced new positive ... PEG and ascorbate bowel preparation) versus standard 2 litre PEG with ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: