Diabetes drug may hold potential as treatment for epilepsy

April 9, 2008

Metformine, a widely used diabetic drug, might also be an effective and safe therapy for epilepsy, researchers report. This new approach may be especially helpful for the subset of patients who have recurrent seizures despite therapy with the best available drugs.

The basis for metformine’s effect is similar to a ketogenic diet, which is an attempt to minimize dietary starch and sugar. Epilepsy patients have been using this severe dietary approach for centuries, which led Dr. Avtar Roopra and colleagues to wonder if drugs could tap into metabolic pathways and produce similar results.

The researchers identified a small molecule in neurons that senses how much energy is available on hand. Glucose normally turns on this sensor, but so does Metformine, a drug used to control blood sugar. By administering the proper dose, they could suppress over-active nerve cells by removing their ability to turn sugar into excess energy.

Roopra and colleagues now hope to apply their preliminary results to a mouse model of epilepsy.

Source: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Explore further: Key protein controls nutrient availability in mammals

Related Stories

Key protein controls nutrient availability in mammals

July 14, 2015

Case Western Reserve researchers already demonstrated that a single protein plays a pivotal role in the use of nutrients by major organs that allow for the burning of fat during exercise or regulating the heart's contractile ...

Graphene oxide biodegrades with help of human enzymes

June 2, 2015

Graphene Flagship researchers show how graphene oxide suspended in water biodegrades in a reaction catalysed by a human enzyme, with the effectiveness of the breakdown dependent on the colloidal stability of the suspension. ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

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.