Dietary supplement could be used to reduce Seizures
A new study reveals how a dietary supplement could be used to reduce excitability in brain cells — a known trigger of seizures — opening the door to possible new treatments for epilepsy.
Researchers speculated that reductions in a protein modification called O-GlcNAcylation in the brain cells of rats and mice might lead to neural excitability, which is a known trigger of seizures.
In the new study, increasing levels of this protein with glucosamine — which is a supplement used to help reduce pain in osteoarthritis, among other conditions — was found to reduce neural excitability in rodents.
The findings not only help to shed light on the processes behind neural excitability, but they may also have identified a new treatment target for epilepsy.
Study co-author Prof. John Chatham, of the Department of Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues recently reported their findings in The Journal of Neuroscience.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that is estimated to affect around 3 million adults and 470,000 children in the United States.