Establishment of protein structure could lead to improved epilepsy treatments - Study

An emerging study has established the structure of a protein in our cells which could help improve epilepsy treatments in the future.

Researchers in the United States working out of the UT Southwestern Medical Center used advanced microscope technology in order to establish the structure of Potassium Chloride Cotransporter 1 (KCC1).

By establishing the structure of KCC1 for the first time, scientists and researchers now have a wider understanding of the protein and how it works.

This is being heralded as an important step in epilepsy research because KCC1 carries molecules across cell membranes.

KCC1 is commonly found in the brain. As epilepsy stems from increased electrical activity which often spreads across the brain, it is possible that this increased electrical activity is being carried across cells in the brain via KCC1.

Lead researcher of the study, Dr. Xiao-chen Bai, has said that he hopes that by identifying the structure of KCC1, new drugs could be designed in the future to target KCC1. This could reduce its capability to carry molecules between cells, in turn reducing the electrical activity in the brain which causes seizures.

As always, Epilepsy Ireland will continue to monitor emerging worldwide studies and provide updates on our website.

More details on the study can be found here.