Brain experts make breakthrough
BRISTOL neuroscientists have made a key breakthrough in the treatment of devastating conditions such as stroke and epilepsy.
The team of scientists from the University of Bristol have discovered a key protein responsible for controlling nerve cell protection. The protein has been found to regulate the transfer of information between nerve cells in the brain and it is thought it may be capable of being activated to protect nerve cells from damage during heart failure or epileptic seizure.
The discovery, published in journal Nature Neuroscience, could lead to new therapies for strokes and epilepsy.
The research team, led by Professor Jeremy Henley and Dr Jack Mellor from Bristol's Medical School, has identified the protein, known as SUMO, responsible for controlling the chemical processes which reduce or enhance protection mechanisms for nerve cells in the brain.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
These key proteins produce subtle responses to the brain's activity levels to regulate the amount of information transmitted by kainate receptors – the proteins in the brain responsible for communication between nerve cells, the activation of which can lead to epileptic seizures and nerve cell death.
Dr Mellor, senior lecturer from the university's School of Physiology and Pharmacology, said: "Kainate receptors are a somewhat mysterious but clearly very important group of proteins known to be involved in a number of diseases including epilepsy.
"However, we know little about what makes kainate receptors so important. Likewise, we know SUMO proteins play an important role. These findings provide a link between SUMO and kainate receptors that increases our understanding of the processes nerve cells use to protect themselves from excessive and abnormal activity."
Professor Henley added: "This work is important because it gives a new perspective and a deeper understanding of how the flow of information between cells in the brain is regulated. The team has found by increasing the amount of SUMO attached to kainate receptors – which would reduce communication between the cells – could be a way to treat epilepsy by preventing over-excitation of the brain's nerve cells."