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Research

Electronic device used to detect, treat epileptic seizures in mice

Researchers are hoping an electronic device used to detect, stop and prevent epileptic seizures in mice can be used to treat other neurological disorders, according to a study published in Science Advances. In the study led by a U.K. research team, scientists looked at the benefits of “direct in situ electrophoretic drug delivery to treat neurological disorders.” The team developed a neural probe with a microfluidic ion pump for on-demand drug delivery and electrodes for recording neural activity. “The (device) works by electrophoretically pumping ions across an ion exchange membrane and thereby delivers only the drug of interest and not the solvent,” wrote lead author Christopher M. Proctor, of the University of Cambridge, and colleagues. “This ‘dry’ delivery enables precise d...

FUTURE – Brain implant could stop epilepsy seizures

For many people who suffer from neurological disorders, such as epilepsy, there are no viable treatment options. In our latest research, we developed an implantable device that may one day offer relief. We show that the implant can treat problems in the brain, such as epileptic seizures, by delivering brain chemicals – known as neurotransmitters – directly to the cells in the brain that cause the problem. The implant works by using an electric field to push neurotransmitters out of the device from an internal reservoir. This process, known as electrophoresis, allows for precise control over the dose and timing of drug delivery, which is important for addressing intermittent disorders such as epilepsy.

Moving Toward Enhanced Regenerative Medicine To Cure Epilepsy

At the border between regenerative medicine and neural engineering lies enhanced regenerative medicine. Using brain tissue modulated by electronic components, EU research has tackled the most common form of epilepsy. Photo© Gabriella Panuccio Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common form of epilepsy and yet, the most unresponsive to treatment. Patients have a typical pattern of progressive brain damage that affects cognitive and emotional processes.

Flexible drug delivery microdevice to advance precision medicine

A Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST research team has developed a flexible drug delivery device with controlled release for personalized medicine, a step toward theragnosis. Theragnosis, an emerging medical technology, is gaining attention as key factor to advance precision medicine with simultaneous diagnosis and therapeutics. Photo: The flexible drug delivery device for controlled release fabricated via inorganic laser lift off. Credit: KAIST Theragnosis devices including smart contact lenses and microneedle patches integrating physiological data sensors and drug delivery devices. The controlled drug delivery has fewer side effects, uniform therapeutic results, and minimal dosages compared to oral ingestion. Recently, some research groups conducted in-human applic...

Scientists have developed tools to determine the genetic causes of early epilepsy

Scientists from the University of Utah, USA, under the leadership of doctor of philosophy Aaron Quinlan has conducted a new study that is associated with the occurrence of early infantile epileptic encephalopathy . These seizures occur in the first months of a child’s life,and late diagnosis of the disease and improper treatment can lead to delays in child development and early death. The child may suffer from epileptic seizures from once a week up to 50 times a day. Previously, scientists have developed several tests to determine the genome infantile epileptic encephalopathy, but they are, according to Dr. Quinlan, could not reveal the genetic. the cause of the disease and are no longer relevant. In this regard, the American scientists have developed tools to identify genetic causes of di...

Flip a switch and shut down seizures? New research suggests how to turn off out-of-control signaling in the brain

The brain is a precision instrument. Its function depends on finely calibrated electrical activity triggering the release of chemical messages between neurons.But sometimes the brain’s careful balance is knocked out of control, as in epilepsy. Electroencephalography, or EEG, visualizes a brain’s electrical activity and can reveal how an epileptic seizure diverges from the predictable wave pattern of typical brain activity. The pattern of typical brain activity is very regular. During an epileptic seizure, the electrical activity erratically spikes. Rochelle Hines, CC BY-ND There’s limited possibility of predicting a seizure, and no way to intervene even when you can predict. Although pharmaceuticals are available to people dealing with epilepsy, they are fraught with side effects, and they...

Spider venom strikes a blow against childhood epilepsy

A devastating form of childhood epilepsy that is resistant to traditional drugs may have met its match in spider venom. Researchers from The University of Queensland and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health discovered that a peptide in spider venom can restore the neural deficiencies that trigger seizures associated with Dravet syndrome. UQ Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) Professor Glenn King said the study in mice could be an important step towards better therapeutic strategies for the rare and life-threatening type of epilepsy developed by children in their first year of life.

Rewiring the brain to fight epilepsy

Biologist Suzanne Paradis’ lab suppressed seizures in mice by changing the connections between neurons. Researchers in the lab of Associate Professor of Biology Suzanne Paradis have discovered a novel treatment for reducing seizure activity in the brains of rodents, a discovery they hope might one day help people living with epilepsy. An estimated 2.2 million Americans suffer from epilepsy and 20 to 30 percent of these individuals live with seizures that do not respond to current medications. Photo: Mike Lovett Suzanne Paradis

Can scientists leverage mysterious mossy cells for brain disease treatments?

A small population of brain cells deep in a memory-making region of the brain controls the production of new neurons and may have a role in common brain disorders, according to a study from scientists at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. The scientists, who published their work in Neuron, showed that “mossy cells” in the hippocampus regulate local stem cells to control their production of new neurons, which is important for normal learning and memory, stress response, and mood regulation. Such neurogenesis in the adult brain is disrupted in many common conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, traumatic brain injury, and some forms of epilepsy.

Study: Protein found to be key component in irregularly excited brain cells

In a new study in mice, researchers have identified a key protein involved in the irregular brain cell activity seen in autism spectrum disorders and epilepsy. The protein, p53, is well-known in cancer biology as a tumor suppressor. The findings, reported in the journal Human Molecular Genetics, will open new avenues for understanding the factors that contribute to these developmental disabilities, said Nien-Pei Tsai, a University of Illinois professor of molecular and integrative physiology who led the new research. “Under physiologically normal circumstances, neurons are able to readjust their excitability: the strength at which neurons are firing,” Tsai said. “But in autism spectrum disorders, such as Fragile X syndrome, and in epilepsy, you see higher levels of excita...

Protein Found In Worms Helps To Stop Seizure Activity

Exciting new research that involves using a protein in worms to suppress seizures, could spell hope in the future for thousands of people with epilepsy. Scientists at University College London (UCL) have used a chemical found in worms to reduce seizure activity in  the brains of epileptic rats. The chemical produces a protein that quietens down brain activity when glutamate levels build up causing neuronal excitement in the brain. The chemical is delivered into the brain by injecting it through the skull inside a harmless virus. Using a technique called gene therapy, this enables the worm DNA to spread throughout the brain. Great hope for the future Epilepsy Society’s medical director Professor Ley Sander described the new technique as very promising but cautioned that there was stil...

Stem cell discovery could aid in developing treatments to control epileptic convulsions

A new line of human stem cells shows promise for one day advancing treatment for epileptic seizures. As reported in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine (SCTM), the cells are designed to deliver adenosine – which calms down overexcited neurons and protects them from damage — to the central nervous system (CNS). The research was conducted by scientists at the University of Bonn and the Central Institute of Mental Health (CIMH) in Mannheim. Adenosine is a powerful regulator that helps the body maintain its inner balance. When an injury occurs to the CNS, it releases high levels of adenosine, which calms down the overexcited neurons and alleviates neurological damage caused by stroke, trauma, reduced oxygen, pain and, in particular, epileptic seizures. “But attempts to systemically deliver adeno...