Navigation Links
New target discovered to treat epileptic seizures following brain trauma or stroke
Date:12/5/2008

New therapies for some forms of epilepsy may soon be possible, thanks to a discovery made by a team of University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute neuroscience researchers.

The researchers found that hemichannels - the same channels the researchers previously found to that cause cell death following a stroke - may also cause epileptic seizures that occur following head trauma or a stroke.

The findings, published tomorrow in Science, will allow researchers to focus on new treatments that block these channels. A hemichannel is a channel that can form in nerve cells which allows chemical ions to pass through.

"The glutamate receptor that is linked to cell death following a stroke also triggers opening of hemichannels," says UBC Psychiatry Prof. Brian MacVicar, who is a member of the Brain Research Centre at UBC and VCH Research Institute. "Therefore both stroke itself or the glutamate released by a stroke can open hemichannels and cause cell death or epileptic seizures."

The researchers tested the effect of glutamate at levels less than those reached during stroke and found that more moderate activation of glutamate receptors opens hemichannels and causes seizure but does not produce cell death associated with stroke.

Glutamate is one of the brain's most abundant chemical messengers. Gap junctions are connections that allow molecules and ions, to flow between cells. Junctions are composed of two hemichannels that bridge intercellular space.

When epileptic seizures occur, hemichannels unexpectedly open near the synapses, which disrupt the normal electrical activity of the brain leading to seizures.

"We found that blocking hemichannels reduced the epilepsy-like discharges," says Roger Thompson, a former UBC Psychiatry post-doctoral Fellow who is now an Assistant Professor of Cell Biology, Anatomy and Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary.

"With these results we are confident that the discovery of safe blockers of hemichannels will provide a new therapy in the treatment to reduce cell loss and seizures that are caused by stroke," says MacVicar, who also holds the Canada Research Chair in Neuroscience at UBC.

"The next step will be to develop a compound to block brain cell hemichannels from opening," says MacVicar. "Therapies for epilepsy patients who have suffered a stroke or head trauma may be available within five to 10 years."

According to the BC Epilepsy Society it is estimated that one out of 12 people will have a seizure in their lifetime, and close to one in 100 Canadians have epilepsy. An epileptic seizure is an abnormal burst of electrical activity within the brain.


'/>"/>

Contact: Catherine Loiacono
catherine.loiacono@ubc.ca
604-822-2644
University of British Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. MaxCyte to Present Targeted Cancer Immunotherapy Product at 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology
2. NHHF Scholarship Program Targets Growing Demand for Diversity Among Health Care Professionals
3. WHO tool helps target bone treatment
4. Broccoli compound targets key enzyme in late-stage cancer
5. New breast imaging technology targets hard-to-detect cancers
6. IDO2 an active enzyme to target in pancreatic cancer
7. Experts: Targeted agricultural investments will yield high results, slash poverty in Africa
8. Combining targeted therapy drugs may treat previously resistant tumors
9. Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Awarded Broad New U.S. Patent for Anti-Viral Applications of Phospholipid-Targeting Antibodies
10. UCSD researchers identify potential new drug target for chronic leukemia
11. TargetScan Evaluation is Shown to Deliver Potentially Higher Cancer Detection Rate and More Accurate Assessment of Grade
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe ... from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine ... his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether ... latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, ... their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the tendency ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 ... dangers associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery ... are suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Fla. (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global ... Trend magazine’s 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition ... Florida. , Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ... raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at ... the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future increases ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... 27, 2016  VMS Rehab Systems, Inc. ( www.vmsrehabsystemsinc.com ... whatever measures required to build a strong and stable ... currently listed on the OTC Markets-pink current trading platform. ... CEO, "We are seeing an anomaly in market trading ... only by the Company, but shareholders and market players ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Consumers have ... and regulators/payers have placed more emphasis on patient ... patient support programs in the pharmaceutical industry have ... medications. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are focusing on becoming ... are providing products and services that improve health. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Global Blood ... biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment ... today announced the closing of its previously announced ... stock, at the public offering price of $18.75 ... offering were offered by GBT. GBT estimates net ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: