Possible trigger behind epileptic seizures identified
London: A brain-circuit defect that triggers absence seizures- the most common form of childhood epilepsy- have been identified by the researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
In a study the investigators showed for the first time how defective signalling between two key brain areas — the cerebral cortex and the thalamus — could produce, in experimental mice, both the intermittent, brief loss of consciousness.
The cortex and thalamus share an intimate relationship. The cortex, like a busy executive, assesses sensory information, draws conclusions, makes decisions and directs action.
In turn, the thalamus acts like an executive assistant, sifting through sensory inputs from the eyes, ears and skin, and translating their insistent patter into messages relayed up to the cortex. The thalamus carefully manages those messages in response to signals from the cortex.
But there is a third component to the circuit: an inhibitory nerve tract that brain scientists refer to as the nRT. This tract monitors signals from both of the other two, and responds by damping activity. The overall result is a stable, self-modulating system that reliably delivers precise packets of relevant sensory information but neither veers into a chaotic state nor completely shuts itself down.
In bioengineered mice that the Stanford team studied with Wayne Frankel, PhD, of the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, this circuit is broken because the GluA4 receptor, a protein component of cells critical to the stimulation of nRT cells, is missing. Notably, these mice were prone to intermittent absence seizures.
The study has been detailed in Nature Neuroscience.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Is population control next on central govt's agenda after demonetization?
- Gujarat: Goods train engine catches fire in Surat
- Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa's condition extremely grave
- Jayalalithaa's funeral procession: Sea of mourners gather to pay last respects
- Watch: Tracing the journey of late Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa from films to politics
- RIP Amma: Jayalalithaa dies after 75 days in hospital; Tamil Nadu mourns
- Fake or Real? 'Alien animal' caught on Karnataka-Kerala border
- RBI to issue new Rs 100 banknotes, old notes to continue as legal tender
- Airtel’s free 4G internet offer may be a ploy to steal your data
- People want to know whether Jayalalithaa is alive or not; PM Narendra Modi must intervene, says expelled AIADMK MP Sasikala Pushpa