Research Digest

Lab notes: Scientists find a protein key to epilepsy treatment

About 30% of epilepsy patients do not respond to existing medication.

Epilepsy is a chronic disorder of the brain and the most common serious neurological disorder that affects about 50 million people worldwide. About 70% of those with epilepsy respond to existing treatment with drugs that have been developed for the disease for the past 30 years. That means, that the remaining 30% o not become free of epileptic seizures even if given these medicines.

The causes of epilepsy, which is the continued presence of seizures, still remain something of the mystery. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests local inflammation of the brain is linked to seizures. Inflammation is an immune response to injury and in most cases of inflammation settles down after a period of time. In some patients, inflammation does not settle down and might provoke continued seizures.

Scientists from the University of Liverpool, in collaboration with the Mario Negri Institute in Milan, have now identified a protein that acts as a marker to for whether there is inflammation in the brain. The researchers were looking for ways to spot such inflammation using blood samplesand focused on a protein called high mobility group box-1 or HMGB1, which exists in different forms – called isoforms – in tissues and the bloodstream.

Their findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, showed a persistent increase in HMGB1 isoforms in patients with newly-diagnosed epilepsy and who had continuing seizure activity despite anti-epileptic drug therapy. There was no such increase in isoforms in patients whose fits were controlled. An accompanying drug study showed that HMGB1 isoforms may predict whether an epilepsy patient will respond to anti-inflammatory drugs. The researchers say their initial findings indicate the need for evaluation in larger-scale trials but could be the start of personalised medical treatment for epilepsy.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

If YOLO is your mantra, get ready to live it the right way

So much to do, so little time!

Carpe Diem! We are a part of the generation that truly knows how to live by those words. We understand the value of everyday and believe that life should be lived in the moment. We fear nothing, except maybe the fear of missing out. We live for an adrenalin rush that keeps us young and makes us feel alive. And what makes this spirit more powerful is that it has captured our collective pulse and has created a refreshed way of life.

Planning for the future has never been our forte, our strength lies more in fuelling our wanderlust and collecting memorable experiences. We love our independence, our freedom of expression and thrive on an ambition of pursuing many passions. How do we keep this spirit alive without letting the rigours of life weigh it down? Maybe it’s time we take a break from seizing the day and pause to look ahead.

Start by making a simple vision board and include all that you want your life to be. Do you dream of sailing across the world or sharing your ideas through your own YouTube channel? Do you see yourself travelling the entire world as a blogger or starting your own café frequented by artists and musicians? Whatever life goals you put down on your vision board can be achieved with determination, passion and a little bit of planning.

Five years ago, IDFC Mutual Fund initiated the conversation on planning in advance for what you might need in the future through the movie ‘One Idiot’. The protagonist of the movie “Bugs Uncle”, enlightened many young Indians about the importance of planning their lives and finances.

Bugs Uncle has returned to once again share his wisdom with the youth and provide a fresh perspective on life. The movie ‘Return of One Idiot’ - an Amole Gupte film and an IDFC MF initiative, shows us how, if we don’t pause for a moment and care to define our future, it’ll lead us down a road none of us wants to visit. And while it’s completely understandable something so far away is tough to think about now, it’s something we shouldn’t neglect either. Watch Bugs Bhargava give you his insights on life in the video below.

Play
Return of One Idiot - An Amole Gupte Film and an IDFC MF Initiative : An IDFC Mutual Fund Investor Awareness Initiative

To know more on how to start a habit of saving and investing, and to learn how to plan your life, join the webinar here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of IDFC Mutual Fund and not by the Scroll editorial team.