Anticonvulsant compound could become effective epilepsy treatment

The development of epilepsy could be prevented by using a new anticonvulsant compound, new findings have suggested.

According to professor Alison Barth, of Carnegie Mellon's Mellon College of Science, the epilepsy treatment works "by inhibiting ion channels whose role in epilepsy was only recently discovered".

"Understanding how these channels work in seizure disorders, and being able to target them with a simple treatment, represents a significant advance in our ability to understand and treat epilepsy," she commented.

The findings come on the back of previous research which identified a specific molecular target associated with seizure disorders.

It was discovered that the potassium channel, known as the BK channel, was linked to epilepsy because it allows electrically charged potassium ions to move out of cells.

Epilepsy is associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain and causes reoccurring seizures.

A total of 456,000 people have epilepsy in the UK, which amounts to one person in every 131.

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Anticonvulsant compound could become effective epilepsy treatment
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