FEB 20, 2021 3:45 PM PST

Deep Brain Stimulation Offsets Epileptic Seizures

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Researchers from the University of Freiburg in Germany have found that deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the brain’s temporal lobe can offset seizures from epilepsy in mouse models. 

Patients with temporal lobe epilepsy often do not respond to treatment by anti-epileptic drugs. When this is the case, surgery to remove the affected brain areas is the next option. However, as this procedure only leaves around a third of patients seizure-free, developing alternative approaches is critical for the wellbeing of people with the condition. 

Unlike in other instances of DBS that use electrical currents to stimulate bran activity, in the present study, the researchers used light. To do so, they introduced a light-sensitive molecule into cells in the temporal lobe that displayed epileptic activity in mice. 

They then stimulated these cells with light at low frequencies of 0.2 hertz, 0.5 hertz, or 1 hertz for one hour. Each frequency was tested twice on separate days. The researchers also monitored control subjects- mice who had not been injected with light-sensitive molecules- to check for light or heat-induced effects. 

In the end, the researchers found that stimulation at 1 hertz for 1 hour almost completely suppressed spontaneous seizures in the hippocampal region of the temporal lobe. They further noted that seizure suppression remained for several weeks following treatment too and that the treatment prevented seizure generalization- seizures happening on both sides of the brain.  

The researchers say that their results came largely due to the repeated activation of granule cells in the area of seizure activity, which made them less excitable and thus less likely to spread epileptic seizures. They also noted that stimulation of the hippocampus might have had a widespread network effect throughout the brain. 

The researchers now aim to use magnetic resonance imaging to observe the whole brain during stimulation. In doing so, they hope to uncover other brain regions affected by DBS, as well as the effects it has on them. 

 

Sources: Neuroscience NewseLife

About the Author
  • Science writer with a keen interest in behavioral biology, consciousness medicine and technology. Her current focus is how the interplay of these fields can create meaningful interactions, products and environments.
You May Also Like
JAN 25, 2021
Cancer
Combining Radiotherapy and Immunotherapy in Liver Cancer
JAN 25, 2021
Combining Radiotherapy and Immunotherapy in Liver Cancer
The dream of a magic bullet drug plagues the mind of scientists, doctors, and patients. The truth is some diseases are j ...
JAN 20, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Designer Cytokine: Potential Therapeutic Approach for Paralysis
JAN 20, 2021
Designer Cytokine: Potential Therapeutic Approach for Paralysis
Paralysis due to spinal cord damage remains an irreparable condition. However, a new therapeutic approach may bring rene ...
FEB 18, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Inhibition of a Specific Enzyme Could be a Way to Treat Glioblastoma
FEB 18, 2021
Inhibition of a Specific Enzyme Could be a Way to Treat Glioblastoma
Researchers may have identified a new treatment target for a deadly form of brain cancer. Inhibiting an enzyme called PR ...
FEB 18, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Weight-Loss Hormone Prevents Muscle-Loss
FEB 18, 2021
Weight-Loss Hormone Prevents Muscle-Loss
Scientists from the University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, show that a hormone known to ...
APR 17, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Facebook AI May Speed up Cancer Drug Discovery
APR 17, 2021
Facebook AI May Speed up Cancer Drug Discovery
Facebook has claimed that its new artificial intelligence, known as 'Compositional Perturbation Autoencoder' (CP ...
APR 24, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Lithium Treats Intellectual Disabilities in Mice
APR 24, 2021
Lithium Treats Intellectual Disabilities in Mice
Mouse models of Bardet-Biedl Syndrome (BBS) have a challenge with learning as a result of dysfunctional neuronal systems ...
Loading Comments...