Navigation Links
Light-activated Compound May Be of Help for Epileptics in Future

Brain activity has been compared to a light bulb turning on in the head. Scientists have reversed this notion, creating a drug that stops brain activity// when a light shines on it.

The unexpected result, reported online in Nature Neuroscience, turned several lights on in researchers' heads.

"This is daydreaming at this point, but we might one day combine this drug with a small implanted light to stop seizures," says senior author Steven Mennerick, Ph.D. associate professor of psychiatry and of anatomy and neurobiology. "Some current experimental epilepsy treatments involve the implanting of an electrode, so why not a light?"

The new compound activates the same receptor used by many anesthetics and tranquilizers, making it harder for a brain cell to respond to stimulation. Mennerick and his colleagues tested the drug on cells in culture set up to behave like they were involved in a seizure, with the cells rapidly and repeatedly firing. When they added the new drug and shone a light on the cells, the seizure-like firing pattern calmed.

If the drug is adapted for epilepsy, Mennerick notes, it is most likely to help in cases where seizures consistently originate from the same brain region.

Theoretically, doctors could keep a patient on regular doses of the new drug and implant a small fiber optic light in the dysfunctional region. The light would activate the drug only when seizure-like firing patterns started to appear.

Scientists in the laboratory of Douglas F. Covey, Ph.D., professor of molecular biology and pharmacology, created the drug by linking a steroid known to have anesthetic effects with a molecule, known as NBD, that fluoresces in response to blue light. Mennerick and colleagues were hoping to use the new compound, which they call the NBD-steroid, to trace the steroid's path in the nervous system.

To their initial disappointment, the researchers found that adding the fluore scent tag to the steroid had disabled it.

"Normally, the steroid keeps the cell quiet in the face of stimuli that would otherwise cause it to fire," Mennerick says. "That's why drugs like barbiturates and Valium, which act on the same receptor as the steroid, are sedatives—they quiet the nerve system down."

When dosed with NBD-steroid, nerve cells still responded to stimuli as readily as they had prior to exposure. Just to see where the modified steroid was going, though, researchers exposed the cells to light.

"All of a sudden, the response to the steroid was back, and the nerve cells were more reluctant to react to stimuli," Mennerick says. "And we knew we had found something very interesting."

To confirm what was happening, scientists dosed two of a nerve cell's many different branches with NBD-steroid. When they shone a light on one of the branches, its readiness to respond decreased, while the readiness of the branch not exposed to light remained the same.

Department of Anesthesiology colleagues tested the compound's effects on tadpoles.

"Tadpoles rapidly take up drugs through their skin, so they're frequently used to test potential anesthetics," Mennerick notes. "And of course, given that it's a photoactive drug, they make a nice test subject because they're mostly translucent."

Tadpoles swimming in a solution of NBD-steroid went to sleep at the bottom of their beaker when exposed to light.

Mennerick and his colleagues are currently seeking to identify or create an animal model of epilepsy that lets them test the NBD-steroid's potential as a therapeutic. They are also looking for a new fluorescent tag that responds to longer wavelengths of light. Unlike many photoactive compounds, the NBD-steroid responds not to ultraviolet light but to light from the blue region of the electromagnetic spectrum. This helps because the longer wavelengths of blue light penetrate far ther into tissue than ultraviolet light and are less damaging to it.

Molecules that fluoresce in response to even longer wavelengths of light are available, and scientists are testing whether any of them can create the same effect when bound to the steroid.

Source-Newswise
SRM
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Compound of Broccoli combats breast cancer
2. New Compound Could Strengthen The Effect Of Chemotherapy
3. Breathing Cancer Causing Compounds During Pregnancy Found To Affect Offspring
4. Compound from cottonseed for neck and head cancers
5. Compounds Found In The Vegetable Broccoli Could Have Anti-Cancer Properties
6. Adding Sorghum Compounds To Dietary Supplements May Help Lower Cholesterol
7. Compound In Grapes And Red Wine To Counter Alzheimers Disease
8. Sugars Could Contain Key Cancer Inhibiting Compounds
9. Compound From Cyanobacterium Can Fight Alzheimer’
10. Five New Anti-Inflammatory Compounds Produced By Indian Scientists
11. Compounds in Licorice Can Fight Tooth Decay
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... LaserShip, a regional parcel carrier that services the ... Eastern Michigan last Friday in order to aid in the Flint water crisis. In ... a facility located in Clio, only 15 miles away from Flint. , “We have ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... InDemand ... within Healthcare, recently partnered with Heart City Health Center to improve ... 23 years, Heart City Health Center has provided the Elkhart community with access ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... 10 ... Brand. There were three leading bottled water brand owners that topped the list as ... enhance connectivity and optimize conversion. The premier brand was Tibet 5100, a top notch ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... welcomes S.S. Nesbitt as the latest addition to its growing list of Partner ... locations throughout the Southeast, from Orlando to Huntsville and in between. , Harnessing ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Pediatric therapists are challenged to ... shows that the Goal Attainment Scale (GAS) captures 20% more change in outcomes ... more about the Goal Attainment Scale, Education Resources Inc. is offering a course ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... and PITTSBURGH, Feb. 10, 2016 Mylan N.V. (NASDAQ, ... quarter and year ended December 31, 2015. ... Full year adjusted total revenues of $9.45 billion, up ... year; GAAP total revenues of $9.43 billion. Excluding the ... markets specialty and branded generics business (the "EPD Business"), ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016  Resolve Therapeutics, ... transformative new approaches to the treatment of lupus ... of a multiple ascending dose study in patients ... compound RSLV-132. --> ... placebo-controlled multiple ascending dose study of RSLV-132 in ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016  Rich Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTC ... a 1-for-100 reverse split of its issued and outstanding ... trading on Thursday, February 11, 2016. The Company,s common ... CUSIP number 76303T308 and temporary ticker symbol "RCHAD". After ... under the ticker symbol (RCHA).  --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: