A new strategy to protect the brain from seizures

Professor Matthew Walker and colleagues at the Institute of Neurology, University College London are looking at new ways to protect the brain from seizures, and to reduce the memory problems which can result from prolonged seizures. A prolonged seizure (secondary to infection, fever, or head injury) can result in the death of nerve cells and the development of epilepsy and memory problems.

Professor Walker’s team have some early evidence that this seizure–induced brain damage can be prevented by blocking a specific source of free radicals within the brain or by increasing the nerve cells’ ability to mop up these free radicals. In this study, they are comparing these two approaches and a combination of these approaches to find out the most effective way of preventing cell death. They will then test whether they can prevent the development of epilepsy and memory problems following a prolonged seizure.

As the compounds they are testing are already in clinical trials for cancer therapy, if this research is successful it could lead to testing in clinical trials for epilepsy within 5 years.

Read more about this study here

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