Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Tackle Childhood Epilepsy

Date:
June 23, 2009
Source:
Rutgers University
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a potential new way to treat childhood epilepsy using a widely available therapeutic drug. In the first use of a mouse model of cortical dysplasia, they introduced the drug rapamycin. Cortical dysplasia is often the cause of childhood epilepsy.

Rutgers researchers have discovered a potential new way to treat childhood epilepsy using a widely available therapeutic drug.

Rutgers neuroscientist Gabriella D’Arcangelo and her colleagues have published their research findings in the journal Disease Models and Mechanisms (in press) and the paper has just appeared online.

In their quest for new therapeutic approaches, the researchers are investigating the molecular basis of the disease. The article describes the first use of a mouse model of cortical dysplasia, a malformation of the brain that is most often the cause of childhood epilepsy. Introducing the drug rapamycin, originally used to prevent rejection in organ transplants, suppressed epileptic seizures in the mice.

Epilepsy is the third most common neurological disorder in the United States after Alzheimer's disease and stroke. It currently affects more than 326,000 children under age 15. More than 90,000 of them have severe seizures that cannot be adequately treated. The children often go on to develop cognitive problems due to recurrent and uncontrolled seizures and the combined effects of heavy medication. They may also suffer consequences from having parts of their brains removed during surgery.

According to the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), approximately 45 percent of the pediatric epilepsy surgery cases (patients under age 18) are due to cortical dysplasia. A staggering 75 percent of surgery patients under age 2 have the condition.

“The surgery is not without risks, and while it may help control the seizures, it does not work in all cases,” said D’Arcangelo, an associate professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. “Clearly there is a pressing need to come up with new strategies for treatment.”

D’Arcangelo’s mutant mice lack a gene (Pten) that suppresses cell growth in some neurons, resulting in these mutants displaying molecular, cellular and physiological traits of cortical dysplasia. The researchers treated the mice with rapamycin. It had already shown promise in a different mouse model for treating tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a subtype of cortical dysplasia.

“We demonstrated that rapamycin is a novel and effective anti-epileptic agent that suppresses seizures in our mice, as well as in the TSC model, and this has raised some hope for the future,” said D’Arcangelo. “This drug is being tested on human patients of tuberous sclerosis in a multicenter study involving six TSC clinics throughout the United States. I hope it will soon be tested for all cortical dysplasia patients.”


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Rutgers University. "Researchers Tackle Childhood Epilepsy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610124817.htm>.
Rutgers University. (2009, June 23). Researchers Tackle Childhood Epilepsy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610124817.htm
Rutgers University. "Researchers Tackle Childhood Epilepsy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610124817.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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:
from the past week

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