A Dietary Supplement Dampens the Brain Hyperexcitability Seen in Seizures or Epilepsy
These preclinical results show a potentially novel therapeutic target to treat seizure disorders.
Seizure disorders — including epilepsy — are associated with pathological hyperexcitability in brain neurons. Unfortunately, there are limited available treatments that can prevent this hyperexcitability. However, University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have found that inducing a biochemical alteration in brain proteins via the dietary supplement glucosamine was able to rapidly dampen that pathological hyperexcitability in rat and mouse models.
These results represent a potentially novel therapeutic target for the treatment of seizure disorders, and they show the need to better understand the physiology underlying these neural and brain circuit changes.
Proteins are the workhorses of living cells, and their activities are tightly and rapidly regulated in responses to changing conditions. Adding or removing a phosphoryl group to proteins is a well-known regulator for many proteins, and it is estimated that human proteins may have as many as 230,000 sites for phosphorylation.
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