24 July, New York
A team of researchers have developed neuroprotective compounds that may help prevent the development of epilepsy in humans.
Epilepsy is a disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed, causing seizures.
Researchers from Louisiana State University in the US, discovered and patented the compounds known as LAU that prevented the seizures and their damaging effects on dendritic spines in an experimental model of epilepsy in mice.
“In the study, preservation of dendritic spines and subsequent protection from seizures, were observed up to 100 days post-treatment, suggesting the process of epilepsy development has been arrested,” said professor Nicolas Bazan.
These compounds were found to act by blocking a neuro-inflammatory signalling receptor, which results in the protection of dendritic spines.
LAU compounds also lessened seizure susceptibility and onset, as well as hyper-excitability of brain circuits known to cause seizures.
“Most of the anti-epileptic drugs currently available treat the symptom – seizures- not the disease itself. Understanding the potential therapeutic usefulness of compounds that may interrupt the development process may pave the way for disease-modifying treatments for patients at risk for epilepsy,” informed Bazan.
The results were published in the journal Scientific Reports.