09-2-2018| Stopping epilepsy before it begins?

09 February 2018
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New research, supported by Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) in Chicago USA, has revealed a 'smoking gun' biomarker that could lead to treatments that prevent some epilepsies before they even begin.

"Being able to identify that a person is likely to develop epilepsy following a brain injury is one of the most important focus areas in modern-day epilepsy research," says Dr. Laura Lubbers, CURE's Chief Scientific Officer. "With 3.4 million Americans suffering from epilepsy and seizures in the U.S., this discovery of a predictive biomarker for a certain form of epilepsy could prevent unpredictable seizures from taking over the lives of millions of Americans and their families."

Using a lab rat with epilepsy, CURE-funded researcher Dr. Annamaria Vezzani and her team at the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan, Italy have identified that, before the epilepsy diagnosis, high levels of the protein high-mobility group box 1 – also known as HMGB1 - have been found in both the brain and blood of rats. As a result high levels of the biomarker HMGB1 may predict the early stages of epilepsy.

The team also found out that a combination of existing medications not only prevent an increase in HMGB1 levels, but stagger the onset of epilepsy, halt the disease's progress, and stop the memory impairments associated with epilepsy.

Article source: Markets Insider


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