Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain study uncovers vital clue in bid to beat epilepsy

Date:
September 3, 2013
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
People with epilepsy could be helped by new research into the way a key molecule controls brain activity during a seizure.

People with epilepsy could be helped by new research into the way a key molecule controls brain activity during a seizure.

Researchers have identified the role played by of a protein -- called BDNF -- and say the discovery could lead to new drugs that calm the symptoms of epileptic seizures.

Scientists analysed the way cells communicate when the brain is most active -- such as in epileptic seizures -- when electrical signalling by the brain's neurons is increased.

They found that the BDNF molecule -- which is known to be released in the brain during seizures -- blocks a specific process known as activity-dependent bulk endocytosis (ABDE).

By blocking this process during an epileptic seizure, BDNF increases the release of neurotransmitters and causes heightened electrical activity in the brain.

Since ADBE is only triggered during high brain activity, drugs designed to target this process could have fewer side effects for normal day to day brain function, researchers say.

Experts say that not all epilepsy patients respond to current drug treatments and the finding could lead to the development of new medicines.

The team, however, offered a word of caution. Since ABDE is also implicated in a range of brain functions, such as creating new memories, more research is needed to establish what the effects of manipulating this molecule might be on these key processes.

The study, led by the University of Edinburgh, is published in the journal Nature Communications. The research was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council.

Dr Mike Cousin, of the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Integrative Physiology, who led the research, said: "Around one third of people with epilepsy do not respond to the treatments we currently have available. By studying the way brain cells behave during seizures, we have been able to uncover an exciting new research avenue for research into anti-epileptic therapies."

Researchers will now focus on identifying specific genes that control this brain process to determine whether they hold the key to new drug treatments.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Karen J. Smillie, Jonathan Pawson, Emma M. Perkins, Mandy Jackson, Michael A. Cousin. Control of synaptic vesicle endocytosis by an extracellular signalling molecule. Nature Communications, 2013; 4 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3394

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Brain study uncovers vital clue in bid to beat epilepsy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130903123558.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2013, September 3). Brain study uncovers vital clue in bid to beat epilepsy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130903123558.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Brain study uncovers vital clue in bid to beat epilepsy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130903123558.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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