Navigation Links
Brain Septum Could Help In reducing Epileptic Seizures

According to a new study published in the Journal of Neurophysiology the septum of the brain helps prevent epileptic seizures by inducing rhythmical //electrical activity in the circuits of another area of the brain known as the hippocampus. The researchers found that, by imposing a normal “theta” rhythm on chronically epileptic rats, they could reduce epileptic seizures by 86-97%.

The study “Septo-hippocampal networks in chronically epileptic rats: Potential antiepileptic effects of theta rhythm generation,” by Luis V. Colom, Antonio García-Hernández, Maria T. Casta?eda, Miriam G. Perez-Cordova and Emilio R. Garrido-Sanabria, The University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College, appears in the June issue of the Journal of Neurophysiology, published by The American Physiological Society.

The septum acts as the conductor, orchestrating brain impulses as they pass from the brain stem through the septum and on to the hippocampus, said the study’s lead researcher, Luis V. Colom, of the University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College. The hippocampus is a part of the brain that plays a role in memory, spatial navigation and sensory motor integration, among other functions.

Normally, the hippocampus oscillates at a frequency of 3-12 Hz, a frequency that is called the theta rhythm, Colom explained. Oscillations at theta frequency are important in processing and storing relevant sensory information and appears important to certain memory processes.

“My hypothesis is that the septum keeps the electrical activity of neurons within certain areas of the brain working within normal ranges,” Colom said. “By keeping the neurons firing normally, the septum inhibits neuronal hyperexcitability, such as epilepsy, and hypoexcitablity, such as Alzheimer’s disease.” In addition, septal impulses may help to maintain the anatomical integrity of other brain structures.

Neurons talk

The brain’s neuro ns are constantly chatting with each other through electrical impulses but it’s a chatter that has to be kept in check, or it can snowball into an electrical storm that marks an epileptic seizure, Colom explained. Epilepsy affects an estimated 4 million Americans, he said.

There are a variety of ways to induce neurons to fire rhythmically, including, interestingly, engaging in stimulating cognitive activities.

Scientists and medical providers know that brain lesions, skull fractures, and high fever are among the factors that can produce epilepsy. But in most cases, there is no obvious cause, Colom said.

Colom’s lifelong interest in how the brain works has led him to study epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. People who suffer Alzheimer’s, a degenerative disorder that affects various brain regions including the septum, have a higher risk of epileptic seizures, in the 10-22% range, he noted.

Previous studies have suggested that the septum plays an antiepileptic role. But in this study, Colom et al. showed what happens among the septum’s neurons during epilepsy, knowledge that is important to understanding the mechanism underlying seizure generation. This line of inquiry could one day lead to the development of anti-epileptic drugs, said Colom.

Theta disrupted in epileptic rats

In this study, the researchers induced epilepsy by injecting anesthetized rats with pilocarpine, a drug that excites the brain’s neurons and activates the synapses between the neurons to produce status epilepticus, in which sustained seizures occur. The rats received diazepam three hours later to interrupt the seizures, but became chronically epileptic, experiencing 3-5 seizures weekly.

The researchers then used electrodes to record individual neurons within the septum of the anesthetized rats to see what happened within the nerve pathways. They found that the epileptic rats suffered significantly more epileptic epi sodes when the brain did not have the proper theta rhythm.

The researchers also found that when the theta rhythm was induced in the rats, it reduced epileptic discharges 86-97%. (The researchers induced theta in one of three ways – by regulating the rats’ anesthesia, by stimulating the septum directly with an injection of carbachol, or by using the sensory stimulation method of pinching the tail.)

The amplitude and frequency of the theta rhythm of the epileptic rats was significantly altered compared to the control group. In effect, the theta rhythm became faster and more jittery. Also, the septal neurons of epileptic rats doubled their firing rates in relation to the controls, from about 14 spikes per second to about 29 spikes per second.

Two promising lines of research

Colom and his fellow researchers at the University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College are looking at two different approaches to stopping epilepsy. One group is taking the approach of making the neurons less excitable (this effort is led by Emilio Garrido-Sanabria and Masoud Zarei). Colom’s group is looking for a new treatment that will focus on inducing theta.

“The understanding of the theta rhythm’s anti-epileptic effect at the cellular and molecular levels may result in novel therapeutic approaches dedicated to protect the brain against abnormal excitability states,” the authors wrote.

Although this research gives more insight into how epilepsy occurs, a cure is still years away. “But I would say there is hope,” Colom said. “We want to offer people with epilepsy new options,” he said, but progress will depend upon funding, he added.

Next steps

The researchers will repeat the study using animals that are awake and mobile, though it is more difficult to record the brain’s discharges in freely moving animals. Then the research can move to humans.
(Source: Newswise)
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Use of Cellular Phones associated with Increased risk of Brain Tumors
2. Brain death – How to cope with it
3. “Brain fingerprinting”- The new lie detectr
4. Nasal Spray Could Take Drugs Direct to Brain.
5. Virus Combats Brain Tumour
6. Nasal Spray Could Take Drugs Directly to Brain
7. Control of anger disorder connected to Brain Dysfunction
8. High Levels of Protein Linked to Brain Shrinkage
9. Brain damage affects artistic skill
10. Brain cells protected by new compounds
11. Brain changes observed in people with sleep apnoea
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... Saad B. Chaudhary, MD is committed to providing the ... or chronic problems, I focus on preventative care with all my patients to alleviate possible ... questions, always feel free to contact my office and my trained staff will assist you ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... , ... April 25, 2017 , ... Emergency Physician and ... of the Outlier Leadership Series, Outliers in Writing, set to publish in summer 2017. ... Emergency Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. He also serves as ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... Vetoquinol USA® ... introducing Flexadin UCII, part of the EQUISTRO line, at this week’s Rolex Kentucky ... horses at the immunologic level. , The scientifically-developed Flexadin UCII supports the body’s ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... ... Emmanuel College is introducing enhancements to its RN-to-BSN Degree ... fall of 2017, Emmanuel’s program will allow registered nurses (RN)s to earn a Bachelor ... as little as $14,528. These changes will enable nurses to complete their degree in ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... Michael Vick announced his retirement earlier ... position. The former overall number one pick in the 2001 NFL Draft, to the ... the record for the most career rushing yards by a quarterback (6,109) and the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/18/2017)... 2017  Astute Medical, Inc., developer of biomarkers for ... presented at the 2017 National Kidney Foundation (NKF) ... through April 22. Physicians will present data on two ... risk for acute kidney injury (AKI) during the management ... Elevated levels of TIMP-2 and IGFBP-7 have ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... Calif. , April 18, 2017  Socionext ... of collaboration started in 2016, in which Socionext ... Brain SOINN". The companies achieved initial results in ... solution by Artificial Brain SOINN. The results will ... Big Sight, April 19-21, at booths 4505 & ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... Mass. , April 18, 2017  Spero Therapeutics, ... for the treatment of bacterial infections, will present preclinical ... the treatment of multidrug resistant (MDR) Gram-negative infections at ... Diseases (ECCMID) April 22-25, 2017 in Vienna, ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: