Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Optimal modulation of ion channels rescues neurons associated with epilepsy

Date:
October 19, 2011
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
New research successfully reverses epilepsy-associated pathology by using a sophisticated single-cell modeling paradigm to examine abnormal cell behavior and identify the optimal modulation of channel activity. The study describes a procedure that may be useful for rescuing function in organs with excitable cells, such as the heart and pancreas.

New research successfully reverses epilepsy-associated pathology by using a sophisticated single-cell modeling paradigm to examine abnormal cell behavior and identify the optimal modulation of channel activity. The study, published by Cell Press in the October 18th issue of Biophysical Journal, describes a procedure that may be useful for rescuing function in organs with excitable cells, such as the heart and pancreas.

Ion channels regulate the flow of ions into and out of the cell and are absolutely critical for a wide range of biological processes, including transmission of signals in the nervous system. Disrupting ion channel function can have disastrous consequences. For example, the severe neurological disorder epilepsy is characterized by spontaneous and recurrent seizures that are thought to be linked with ion channel dysfunction.

Dr. Erik Fransén from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm was interested in examining neuronal excitability at the single-cell level and using sophisticated computational modeling to discover a way to restore normal neuronal function. "We studied ion channel alteration related to epilepsy," explains Dr. Fransén. "Previously, we showed that dysfunction of a specific potassium channel, KA, was linked to synchronicity, one of the key elements of epilepsy. In this current study, we focused on improving the functional behavior of the neuron and reversing pathological changes."

Dr. Fransén and colleagues studied the modulation of KA by substances known to influence channel activation. Sophisticated ion channel simulations allowed the researchers to examine known modulatory substances and to determine the most beneficial concentration of the modulators for reduction of abnormal neuron activity. Importantly, the optimization method revealed specific combinations of modulators that reversed pathological changes in KA observed in a patient with epilepsy.

The authors suggest that the optimization procedure may have widespread application. "The method we developed to functionally correct a pathological neuron can be used for other brain diseases where alterations of ion channels are involved," concludes Dr. Fransén. "It may also be used in other organs with excitable cells, such as the heart or pancreas. For instance, atrial fibrillation is one of the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmias with an underlying pathology of cell hyperexcitability due to, among other things, alterations of ion channels."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Jenny Tigerholm, Erik Fransén. Reversing Nerve Cell Pathology by Optimizing Modulatory Action on Target Ion Channels. Biophysical Journal, 2011; 101 (8): 1871 DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2011.08.055

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Optimal modulation of ion channels rescues neurons associated with epilepsy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111018121838.htm>.
Cell Press. (2011, October 19). Optimal modulation of ion channels rescues neurons associated with epilepsy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111018121838.htm
Cell Press. "Optimal modulation of ion channels rescues neurons associated with epilepsy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111018121838.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
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