A major receptor found in the brain called PAR1 is involved in the regulation of anxiety-related behaviour, suggests a recent study, published in the journal Epilepsy and Behavior.The study used an animal model of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), the most common type of focal epilepsy in adults, which is often associated with psychiatric complications such as depression and anxiety. However, the mechanism of anxiety-related deficits in people with epilepsy are unclear.The findings are important because they suggest that PAR1-dependent signalling may be associated with emotional disorders in people with epilepsy and that targeting PAR1 signalling might open a new therapeutic avenue to help prevent cognitive problems related to anxiety in TLE.The research, led by Dr Elena Isaeva at Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology in Kiev, Ukraine, involved inducing epilepsy in rats, which led to a decrease in anxiety-related behaviour of the animals and an increase in their general activity.When the researchers blocked PAR1 shortly after inducing epilepsy, they saw that the normal anxiety-related behaviour of the animals was restored but the increase in their activity remained unchanged. In rats with epilepsy, blocking PAR1 had a less pronounced effect on memory recall than in control rats and also showed a modest beneficial effect on learning.The team concluded that PAR1 inhibition in the normal brain is harmful whereas blocking PAR1 in animals with epilepsy may be therapeutic.“The present study shows for the first time ……. the involvement of PAR1 in the regulation of anxiety-related behaviour”, the researchers wrote.PAR1, or protease-activated receptor 1, is involved in behaviour and memory formation. It is expressed in areas of the brain that are important for processing emotional reactions and is implicated in the regulation of emotionally-motivated learning.Author: Dr Özge ÖzkayaClick here for more articles about conditions related to epilepsy.