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.

Related Articles


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 November 26, 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 November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 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
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 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

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