Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Seizure unconsciousness similar to slow wave sleep

Date:
December 9, 2013
Source:
American Epilepsy Society (AES)
Summary:
Epilepsy patients with complex partial seizures have impaired consciousness during seizure episodes and typically have no memory of the event. However, the mechanisms of seizure unconsciousness are unclear. Research report that the mechanism underlying loss of awareness during complex partial seizures is likely the same as that involved in slow wave or deep sleep.

Epilepsy patients with complex partial seizures have impaired consciousness during seizure episodes and typically have no memory of the event. However, the mechanisms of seizure unconsciousness are unclear. Research reported today at the American Epilepsy Society (AES) 67th Annual Meeting suggests that the mechanism underlying loss of awareness during complex partial seizures is likely the same as that involved in slow wave or deep sleep.

In earlier research the team of investigators from Yale Medical School revealed an association between slow wave oscillations in neocortex and loss of consciousness in complex partial seizures. They also developed a rodent model with similar seizure characteristics, including neocortical slow waves similar to those seen in sleep. With the use of this model, the team then sought to find whether the slow waves of seizures were closely related to decreased acetylcholine in a specific sleep-associated brain area, as occurs in slow wave sleep.

The synthesis and release of acetylcholine is followed by breakdown into the molecule choline. That molecule was thus used in this study as a proxy for acetylcholine and choline levels at the target site were recorded using an implanted choline-oxidase coated microelectrode.

To determine if there was a reduction in choline levels concordant with decreased neuronal activity, fluctuations in neuronal activity were mapped by functional MRI. When seizures were induced in the animal models, decreases were observed in both fMRI blood oxygen levels and in the microelectrode choline level recordings, demonstrating, for the first time, a drop in cholinergic neurotransmission during limbic seizures in rodents.

"This suggests a possible mechanism to explain the slow oscillations and unconsciousness of complex partial seizures, " says Hal Blumenfeld, M.D., Ph.D., of Yale Medical School, lead investigator on the report. "These seizures propagate from the hippocampus to limbic structures containing inhibitory projection neurons. Neuronal activity in the arousal nuclei of the brainstem and basal forebrain then decreases; and this leads to decreased levels of arousal in the thalamus and cortex, and to impaired consciousness. We hope this research will help save lives of people with epilepsy who are in danger of accidents or breathing difficulty from the deep unconsciousness accompanying seizures."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Epilepsy Society (AES). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Epilepsy Society (AES). "Seizure unconsciousness similar to slow wave sleep." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131209084207.htm>.
American Epilepsy Society (AES). (2013, December 9). Seizure unconsciousness similar to slow wave sleep. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131209084207.htm
American Epilepsy Society (AES). "Seizure unconsciousness similar to slow wave sleep." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131209084207.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