Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Childhood Epilepsy Research Offers New Hope For Seizure Control

Date:
October 23, 2007
Source:
Howard Florey Institute
Summary:
Scientists still do not know what causes epileptic seizures, but researchers are one step closer to solving this puzzle with the help of their newly developed genetically modified epileptic mouse.

Scientists still do not know what causes epileptic seizures, but researchers from Melbourne's Howard Florey Institute are one step closer to solving this puzzle with the help of their newly developed genetically modified epileptic mouse.

Related Articles


This is the first human genetic mutation based mouse model in the world that mimics childhood absence epilepsy (CAE). The mouse is now helping Dr Steven Petrou and his team to understand the genesis of epilepsy, which will aid in the development of better anti-seizure drugs.

CAE involves brief staring spells, during which the child is not aware or responsive. These episodes can occur one to 50 times per day and the age of onset is usually three to 10 years.

In about 30% of people, anti-epileptic drugs do not adequately control their seizures and many drugs have side-effects such as rashes, lethargy and memory problems.

Dr Petrou said new treatment strategies were urgently needed to create beneficial drugs without side-effects.

"The problem with current drugs is that they treat the symptoms, not the root cause," Dr Petrou said.

"To develop new treatment strategies we need to understand the genesis of epilepsy, and this mouse model should provide a window into that fundamental process.

"We all know seizures occur if the brain's cortex goes haywire, but something is happening prior to that event to cause neurons to misfire, and we want to understand that initial event.

"Because mice grow so quickly, changes in the brain can be readily seen and measured.

"In a week the mouse can go from no seizures to seizures, so we can investigate what changes are occurring in that period and what is happening in the critical time window that leads to seizures.

"Initial findings suggest there is a defect in the brain's cortex which may be related to the beginning of seizures in CAE but we are delving into deeper brain structures as well," Dr Petrou said.

The inherited human gene mutation that causes CAE was first detected by Dr Petrou's collaborator, Prof Samuel Berkovic from Austin Health. Through genetic manipulation, Dr Petrou has introduced this human mutation into the mouse DNA, allowing the researchers to study a mouse version of the human condition.

The mutation itself is rare in humans but it causes CAE, which is one of the more common forms of epilepsy.

Dr Petrou said that modelling genetic epilepsies in mice will allow researchers to understand epilepsy from the molecular level all the way through to physical behaviour.

"Creating this link in the human brain is impossible due to the highly invasive methodology required, so mouse models provide us with a unique opportunity to discover mechanisms of seizure genesis," Dr Petrou added.

Dr Petrou's research was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The Howard Florey is collaborating with Australian biotechnology company, Bionomics, to leverage this model for the advancement of anti-epilepsy drug discovery.

Epilepsy facts

According to the World Health Organisation approximately 50 million people around the world have epilepsy

More than 50% of children with epilepsy will outgrow their seizures as they mature, while others may have seizures that continue into adulthood.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Howard Florey Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Howard Florey Institute. "Childhood Epilepsy Research Offers New Hope For Seizure Control." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071022094524.htm>.
Howard Florey Institute. (2007, October 23). Childhood Epilepsy Research Offers New Hope For Seizure Control. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071022094524.htm
Howard Florey Institute. "Childhood Epilepsy Research Offers New Hope For Seizure Control." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071022094524.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) — Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins