Epilepsy is said to be a general chronic neurological disorder and a person suffering from it may frequently experience regular unprovoked seizures. A study from the University of Alabama apparently used worms to reel in information that they anticipate could result in a better comprehension of cellular mechanisms that may perhaps be exploited to treat this condition.
The study authors supposedly clarify as to how that transparent roundworm, C. elegans apparently assisted them to detect chief ‘molecular switches’ that could presumably manage the shipping of a molecule, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This, if influenced inside our cells, might avert the beginning of seizures.
Dr. Guy A. Caldwell, associate professor of biological sciences at UA and co-author of the study, commented, “It is our hope that this work serves to accelerate the path toward the identification of genetic factors that cause a susceptibility to epilepsy. Simultaneously, this work has the potential to uncover new avenues toward therapeutic development to control or prevent seizures in the future.”
The experts have apparently performed experiments concerning drugs recognized to have an effect on neuronal activity in grouping with DNA mutations in genetic factors common between C. elegans and humans. Alterations in the worm’s neuronal activity apparently resulted in recurring convulsions assumed to be akin to those suffered in epilepsy. These convulsions were viewed under a microscope, and videos of those events were apparently utilized to assess the acuteness of the neuronal variations.
Simultaneously, the study authors applied a green fluorescent protein to ‘tag’ or ‘label’ the cellular backdrop and transfer of GABA in neurons. This tagging is believed to have enabled the experts to view the definite genetic factors that supposedly resulted in unusual movement of GABA in neurons as they concurred with worm seizures. This facilitated them to even make suitable comparisons with worms from the control group.
Mark Johnston, editor-in-chief of Genetics, remarked, “It may be hard to believe, but the cellular processes that occur in these worms are likely to be similar to those in humans. This work has the potential to significantly advance our understanding of what causes seizures in people, and could point the way to eliminating or reducing seizures.”
He further added that these findings could offer hope to people with this devastating and supposedly frustrating condition.
This study appears in the current edition of the journal Genetics.