Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Animal study unveils predictive marker for epilepsy development following febrile seizure

Date:
June 24, 2014
Source:
Society for Neuroscience (SfN)
Summary:
Within hours of a fever-induced seizure, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be able to detect brain changes that occur in those most likely to develop epilepsy later in life, according to an animal study. The findings may one day help improve methods to detect children at a heightened risk for developing epilepsy and guide efforts to prevent epilepsy development in those at greatest risk.

Up to 40 percent of children with very long febrile seizures develop epilepsy later in life, according to an animal study published in the June 25 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.
Credit: Image courtesy of Society for Neuroscience (SfN)

Within hours of a fever-induced seizure, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be able to detect brain changes that occur in those most likely to develop epilepsy later in life, according to an animal study published in the June 25 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. The findings may one day help improve methods to detect children at a heightened risk for developing epilepsy and guide efforts to prevent epilepsy development in those at greatest risk.

Febrile seizures -- convulsions brought on by fever -- typically last only a few minutes and are relatively common in infants and small children. However, in some cases, children experience febrile seizures that last for more than 30 minutes (known as febrile status epilepticus, or FSE). Of these children, 40 percent will go on to develop temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) -- a common and often treatment-resistant brain disorder. Physicians currently have no way to anticipate which of the children with a history of extended febrile seizures (FSE) will go on to develop TLE, and children typically do not experience the onset of the disease until 10-12 years after the onset of FSE.

In the current study, Tallie Z. Baram, MD, PhD, and her colleagues at the University of California-Irvine, used MRI to examine the brains of young rats shortly after FSE was induced to compare the brains of the animals that would go on to develop TLE and those that would not. The researchers tracked the animals as they developed over 10 months for signs of TLE. Of the animals that developed epilepsy over the course of the study, all had a distinctive MRI signal in a part of the brain called the amygdala when imaged within hours after the FSE. This signal was not visible in the animals that remained epilepsy-free for the duration of the experiment.

"This remarkable discovery got us to ask two key questions," Baram said. "First, can we figure out what is going on in the brain that causes this new signal? And second, can we detect a similar predictive signal in children after febrile status epilepticus?"

Further investigation into the origin of the MRI signal revealed that the brains of the rodents that went on to develop epilepsy were consuming more energy and using up more oxygen in the amygdala hours after long febrile seizures than the brains of the rats that did not develop epilepsy later in life.

"Detecting reduced oxygen may be an early marker of brain damage that leads to subsequent spontaneous seizures and epilepsy," explained Hal Blumenfeld, MD, PhD, who studies epilepsy at Yale University and was not involved in this study.

Although the current study was conducted in rats using a high-power laboratory scanner, additional studies by Baram's group revealed that the epilepsy-predicting signal could be detected using a conventional hospital MRI scanner. This suggests that similar evaluations could be conducted in children with FSE to begin to assess whether this signal appears in children after FSE and whether it predicts the emergence of epilepsy later in life.

"Preventive therapy development is hampered by our inability to identify early the individuals who will develop TLE," Baram explained. "Finding a predictive signal using clinically applicable noninvasive brain scans holds promise for predicting epilepsy after FSE."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Choy, C. M. Dube, K. Patterson, S. R. Barnes, P. Maras, A. B. Blood, A. N. Hasso, A. Obenaus, T. Z. Baram. A Novel, Noninvasive, Predictive Epilepsy Biomarker with Clinical Potential. Journal of Neuroscience, 2014; 34 (26): 8672 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4806-13.2014

Cite This Page:

Society for Neuroscience (SfN). "Animal study unveils predictive marker for epilepsy development following febrile seizure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140624215934.htm>.
Society for Neuroscience (SfN). (2014, June 24). Animal study unveils predictive marker for epilepsy development following febrile seizure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140624215934.htm
Society for Neuroscience (SfN). "Animal study unveils predictive marker for epilepsy development following febrile seizure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140624215934.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