25-05-09 | Drug found to prevent epilepsy progression

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, USA, have identified a new anticonvulsant compound that has the potential to stop the development of epilepsy.

The research discovery builds on previous work where a molecular target whose increased activity is associated with seizure disorders was identified. This is a potassium channel known as the BK channel.

Associate professor of biological sciences at Carnegie Mellon's College of Science, Alison Barth said "We have found a new anticonvulsant compound that eliminates seizures in a model of epilepsy, the drug works by inhibiting ion channels whose role in epilepsy was only recently discovered. Understanding how these channels work in seizure disorders, and being able to target them with a simple treatment, represents a significant advance in our ability to understand and treat epilepsy."

The findings are published in the current issue of the journal Epilepsia.

Further investigations are being carried out by the research team, which could lead to a new method of treating epilepsy.