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UV LED therapy shows promising results in preventing focal seizures
Date:1/6/2010

Researchers from the University of Minnesota Medical School discovered that light from an ultraviolet diode (UV LED) reduced "seizure-like" activity in a rat epilepsy model. During the study, UV light released gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) from the "caged" compound carbonyl amino butanoic acid (BC204). GABA then decreased the abnormal electrical activity in the CA1 area of the brain. Results of this study have considerable potential in treating focal epilepsy in humans. Details of this study are available in the January 2010 issue of Epilepsia, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the International League Against Epilepsy.

Focal (or partial) epilepsy is very common in both adults and can occur in children. It is caused by an abnormality in a localized area of the brain resulting from such conditions as stroke, trauma, or infections. Up to one-third of epileptic patients fail to respond to conventional medical therapies and are subject to toxic effects from antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). While surgery has benefited some patients with focal epilepsy, a substantial number of patients do not experience a complete remission after operation, prompting researchers to investigate alternative treatments.

Steven Rothman, M.D., and colleagues conducted experiments with UV LEDs to control seizure-like activity in rodent brain slices. Population spikes in CA1 (which reflect the discharge of a population of neurons) were elicited by delivering constant current pulses through a microelectrode placed in the CA3 brain area. Researchers induced seizure-like activity by adding the convulsant, 4-aminopyridine (4-AP; 100 M) and removing magnesium from the fluid solution outside the cells. Caged GABA, BC204, was perfused into the preparation for at least 30 minutes prior to the first illumination.

When population spikes were measured (as a reflection of tissue excitability), the research team found that illumination of cont
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Contact: Dawn Peters
medicalnews@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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