Navigation Links
New therapy target for kids' fever-induced seizures
Date:6/11/2013

CHICAGO - Fever-induced childhood seizures, known as febrile seizures, can be terrifying for parents to witness. The full-body convulsions, which mostly affect children six months to five years old, can last from mere seconds up to more than 40 minutes. Currently, children are not treated with daily anticonvulsant medication to prevent these seizures even when they recur repeatedly because toxic side effects of existing treatments outweigh potential benefits.

While scientists know these seizures typically occur when a fever is above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius), the exact mechanism at work has been unclear.

Now, in a new study appearing in the June 12, 2013 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, a team of Northwestern Medicine researchers has identified a new key factor in the generation of febrile seizures, leading to a new therapeutic target for humans. The team further found that nimodipine, a commonly available L-type calcium-channel blocker, dramatically reduced the incidence and duration of febrile seizures in animals.

"Until now, most scientists believed L-type calcium channels, pores in the membrane that allow calcium into cells, were not engaged in the initiation of the brain electrical activity," said the study's lead author Marco Martina, MD, associate professor in physiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "We show that the activation of these channels, which are temperature sensitive, actually drives the electrical activity, not just follows it. As such, these channels may play a key role in seizure associated with high body temperature. Consequently, we can develop better treatments for toddlers and reduce the risk of negative outcomes."

Febrile seizures affect about five percent of children in the United States and are mostly benign, but do carry a risk of negative long-term consequences on brain development.

In this study, the Northwestern team used electrical recordings of the hippocampus of rats to determine that temperature-sensitive L-type calcium channels in triangle-shaped neurons, which are the major neuronal cell type of the brain cortex, play a major role in febrile seizures. This observation provides an alternative therapeutic target for febrile seizures that is distinct from current epilepsy drug therapy, which commonly focuses on blocking sodium channels.

Once the team identified L-type calcium channels in neurons as the likely culprit, scientists took the finding one step further to test their hypothesis, administering the calcium channel blocker nimodipine in an animal model as a treatment for febrile seizures. The results were striking: nimodipine dramatically reduced both the incidence and duration of febrile seizures in rat pups.

"The good news is that we already have many FDA-approved drugs that block L-type calcium channel," says Martina. "Therefore if proven effective in clinical trials, this could be an important advance in clinical care. Because L-type calcium channel blockers such as nimodipine are safe drugs, every toddler with febrile seizures can potentially be treated to stop or prevent seizures triggered by high fever and reduce the risk of long term neurological consequences of uncontrolled recurrent or prolonged febrile seizures."

Sookyong Koh, MD, associate professor in pediatricsneurology at Feinberg, and co-author on the paper, adds that these findings could be helpful for one group of children in particular: those with genetic epilepsy syndromes whose seizures are triggered by fever, and for whom most anticonvulsants acting on sodium channels are harmful.


'/>"/>

Contact: Marla Paul
marla-paul@northwestern.edu
312-503-8928
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. KRAS gene mutation and amplification status affects sensitivity to antifolate therapy
2. Antibody therapy prevents gastrointestinal damage following radiation exposure in mice
3. Chemotherapy proves life-saving for some leukemia patients who fail induction therapy
4. Immunotherapy for elderly cancer patients finds new promise in drug combination
5. Therapy exploits addiction of leukemia cells
6. Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy optimal for localized prostate cancer
7. Adding drug to standard chemotherapy provides no survival benefit for older lung cancer patients
8. Study Casts Doubt on Value of Pricey Prostate Cancer Therapy
9. 19th century therapy for Parkinsons disease may help patients today
10. New Psoriasis Drugs Not Much Better Than Standard Therapy, Study Finds
11. Xenotransplantation as a therapy for type 1 diabetes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... giving viewers the lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," ... on current events and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history ... The Brink” is the creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and ... WWII veteran, he spent thirty years in the Navy. Following his career as ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest growing franchisors and ... flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, in January of ... Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it to serve both ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... The American ... Excellence to Carol Friedman, PhD, FACMI, during the Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium ... 8. , In honor of Morris F. Collen, a pioneer in the field of ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ANGELES (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Parsa Mohebi Hair Restoration, has recently contributed a medical article to the newly ... on cosmetictown.com. Dr. Mohebi’s article spotlights the hair transplant procedure known as ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017  South Korean-based healthcare product ... training aide "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device will educate ... cardiac arrests with better efficiency compared to the dated ... real-time feedback on efficacy of the compression for a ... has a goal to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017  AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, the ... by Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics LLC ... brand, which included the unveiling of new signage at ... as well as at a few other company-owned facilities ... brand to patients, some of whom will begin to ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... 2017  Commended for their devotion to personalized service, SMP ... number one in the South Florida Business Journal,s 50 Fastest-Growing ... yearly list, the national specialty pharmacy has found its niche.  ... will soon be honored by SFBJ as the 2017 Power ... Set to receive his award in October, Bardisa said of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: