AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 2, 2017

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Preventing Seizure-caused Damage to the Brain

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New research from the Texas A&M College of Medicine points to a potential way to protect neurons

Tiny vesicles isolated from adult mesenchymal stem cells and administered intranasally can limit the damage to the brain of animal models caused by a seizure disorder called status epilepticus, according to research. Status epilepticus is the formal name for a single seizure lasting longer than 30 minutes or a series of seizures in which the person does not regain consciousness in between them. If it is not quickly stopped, even one episode can cause brain damage, loss of cognitive function and memory loss. “Saving the brain from injury and disease is certainly one of the holy grails of medicine,” said Darwin J. Prockop, MD, PhD, the Stearman Chair in Genomic Medicine, professor at the Texas A&M College of Medicine and co-senior author of the article. “Our paper suggests one way that this might be done, and not by a procedure that requires brain surgery or even injection into a vein: All that would be required is a nasal spray that a patient might receive in a doctor’s office.”

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