Study: Theta rhythm reduces seizure rate

June 20, 2006

Texas scientists say the brain's septum helps stop epileptic seizures by inducing electrical activity in another area of the brain called the hippocampus.

Researchers at the University of Texas-Brownsville found that imposing a normal "theta" rhythm on epileptic rats reduced the rate of seizures by 86 percent to 97 percent.

The septum acts as a conductor, orchestrating brain impulses as they pass from the brain stem through the septum and on to the hippocampus, said the study's lead researcher, Luis Colom. The hippocampus is a part of the brain that plays a role in memory, spatial navigation and sensory motor integration, among other functions.

"My hypothesis is that the septum keeps the electrical activity of neurons within certain areas of the brain working within normal ranges," Colom said. "By keeping the neurons firing normally, the septum inhibits neuronal hyperexcitability, such as epilepsy, and hypoexcitablity, such as Alzheimer's disease." In addition, he said, septal impulses may help to maintain the anatomical integrity of other brain structures.

The research appears in the June issue of the Journal of Neurophysiology.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: How memories are born

Related Stories

How memories are born

October 25, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- When we experience something new, or wish to remember something important, groups of cells deep inside the center of our brains fire in unison as a new memory is born.

Recommended for you

Male seahorse and human pregnancies remarkably alike

September 1, 2015

Their pregnancies are carried by the males but, when it comes to breeding, seahorses have more in common with humans than previously thought, new research from the University of Sydney reveals.

Brazilian wasp venom kills cancer cells by opening them up

September 1, 2015

The social wasp Polybia paulista protects itself against predators by producing venom known to contain a powerful cancer-fighting ingredient. A Biophysical Journal study published September 1 reveals exactly how the venom's ...

Parasitized bees are self-medicating in the wild, study finds

September 1, 2015

Bumblebees infected with a common intestinal parasite are drawn to flowers whose nectar and pollen have a medicinal effect, a Dartmouth-led study shows. The findings suggest that plant chemistry could help combat the decline ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.