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:5/26/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 , ... After raising ... Antzy Top gadget will continue to be available at a discounted crowdfunding price on ... with stress wherever they are, I also wanted to bring a fidget toy to ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... ... Rob Lowe acts as host and helps educate and inform the public using the ... can reconnect with America as it explores some of the best places to hike ... an inventive new place for a family vacation, and have discovered hiking. Many will ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... ... the Cross”: the personal journey of Bob Massey and his faith in the Lord. ... Margaret Massey. Bob Massey is small in stature but big in character. As ... for others is apparent in all of his life decisions. , “I’m in the ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... ... Jack: Against All Odds”: the story of Coach Cactus Jack and the impact he ... creation of published author, Walter Hubbard, a retired wildlife and fisheries biologist and pharmacy ... Walter and Jane have three adult children and a granddaughter. Walter and ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... In modern research, success depends ... instruments for research and understanding the basic principles that were designed to drive ... innovations in stereo microscopy for brightfield and fluorescence typically used in laboratories working ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/6/2017)... May 5, 2017   Provista , a proven leader ... 200,000 customers, today announced Jim Cunniff as the ... executive and business experience to Provista, including most recently serving ... California . He assumed his new role ... a great fit for Provista," says Jody Hatcher , ...
(Date:5/4/2017)... May 4, 2017  A recent study published ... Ultraviolet-C light as a means of disinfection ... to reduce bioburden on anesthesia workstations. In the ... high-touch, complex medical equipment surfaces contaminated with three ... "This study further validates the body of ...
(Date:5/4/2017)... WAYNE, Pa. , May 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... made from thermoplastics and other highly-engineered materials, is ... Microextrusion tubing has been developed in recent ... neurovascular interventional therapies and surgical applications. More expensive ... used to produce microextrusion tubing due to their ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: