Neurology

Gene therapy for epilepsy could stop seizures

Sparking production of a hormone in the brain that people with epilepsy often lack could prevent debilitating seizures, University of Florida researchers have discovered.
The researchers used gene therapy in rats to stimulate production of somatostatin, a seizure-stopping chemical that naturally occurs in the brain. The study was published in the February issue of the journal Neuroscience Letters.

More than 3 million people in the United States have epilepsy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This lifelong disease is characterized by uncontrollable seizures and can keep people from living independently or holding jobs, particularly if they do not respond to seizure-controlling medication. Finding novel ways to prevent these seizures could help people.

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