Saturday, April 6, 2013

Potential Breakthrough in Epilepsy Research

A story reported on April 5, 2013, stated that the Epilepsy Society has given a ‘cautious welcome’ to claims of a breakthrough in the development of drugs for treating epilepsy.

University of Sheffield scientists believe that the discovery of 46 compounds with anticonvulsant properties could pioneer new thinking and research in the development of new treatments.

Some of the compounds are already used to treat infectious, psychiatric and inflammatory disorders, with further research at Sheffield finding that epileptic seizures in two-day-old epileptic zebrafish can be suppressed.

Medical director at Epilepsy Society, Professor Ley Sander, commended the research without getting over-excited, saying: “This is an interesting development and one which may eventually lead to new treatments for some people with epilepsy. However at this point it must be remembered that there is no firm evidence that the zebrafish model truly mimics human epilepsy.”

Dr Vincent Cunliffe of the University of Sheffield’s department of biomedical science, describes some of the work undertaken: “We took advantage of a unique set of features of the zebrafish to look for new anticonvulsant agents within a library of many different types of compounds with a wide range of biological activities.

“We found that a small number of them had previously unknown anti-convulsant effects. Some of the identified compounds already have a variety of different medical uses in treating conditions such as fungal infections, as well as psychiatric and inflammatory disorders.”

Original story found at breakthrough in epilepsy research.

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