Removing granule cells (types of neuron) at a certain time point after an epilepsy-causing brain injury could have disease-modifying effects, according to a study published the Journal of Neuroscience.Granule cells that are generated in the weeks before and after an epilepsy-causing brain injury can abnormally integrate into certain areas of the brain, mediating the development of temporal lobe epilepsy.The authors, based in Cincinnati, write: “These findings support the long-standing hypothesis that newly generated … granule cells are pro-epileptogenic and contribute to the occurrence of seizures.”For the study, the researchers induced status epilepticus in a rodent model using a chemical. Three days later they removed the granule cells from the animals’ brains that had been generated up to five weeks before the chemical ‘injury’, and they noticed a 50% reduction seizure frequency.The scientists also noticed a 20% increase in seizure duration, which wasn’t expected. They explain that this paradoxical effect may reflect a disruption of the balancing mechanisms that normally act to reduce seizure duration when seizures occur frequently.Previous studies had shown that inhibiting granule cell production before an epilepsy-causing brain insult could reduce the development of epilepsy. This new study provides proof-of-concept data demonstrating that granule cell removal therapy applied at a certain time point after injury can have disease-modifying effects in epilepsy.Author: Dr Özge ÖzkayaClick here for more articles about brain science including genetics.