Diabetes drug may hold potential as treatment for epilepsy

Apr 09, 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: Seniors successfully withdraw from meds

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microalgae – the factories of the future

Sep 09, 2014

Biology professor Ralf Kaldenhoff is making microalgae fit for industry. The microorganisms could produce a variety of products from carbon dioxide and light.

Building synthetic plants

Jun 20, 2014

A movement is under way that will fast-forward the design of new plant traits. It takes inspiration from engineering and the software industry, and is being underpinned in Cambridge and Norwich by an initiative ...

'Onion' vesicles for drug delivery developed

Jun 10, 2014

One of the defining features of cells is their membranes. Each cell's repository of DNA and protein-making machinery must be kept stable and secure from invaders and toxins. Scientists have attempted to replicate ...

Fine tuning an old-school chemotherapy drug

May 05, 2014

First approved by the FDA in the 1970s, the chemotherapy drug cisplatin and its relative carboplatin remain mainstays of treatment for lung, head and neck, testicular and ovarian cancer. However, cisplatin's ...

Recommended for you

Seniors successfully withdraw from meds

17 hours ago

Elderly people have proved receptive to being de-prescribed medications, as part of a trial aimed at assessing the feasibility of withdrawal of medications among older people.

Flu vaccine for expectant moms a top priority

Sep 18, 2014

Only about half of all pregnant women in the U.S. get a flu shot each season, leaving thousands of moms-to-be and their babies at increased risk of serious illness.

Experts want restrictions on testosterone drug use (Update)

Sep 17, 2014

Federal health experts said Wednesday there is little evidence that testosterone-boosting drugs are effective for treating common signs of aging in men and that their use should be narrowed to exclude millions of Americans ...

User comments : 0