University of Toronto biologists, including one of Indian origin, have discovered proteins to retune imbalances of neurological disorders like autism, epilepsy and various others like schizophrenia and spectrum disorder.
According to Professor Melanie Woodin, the lead investigator of the study, there is a process known as synapses via which neurons in the brain correspond with other neurons, causing neurons either to excite or inhibit other neurons. He further added that any disproportion among the levels of excitation or inhibition may lead to improper brain function.
A crucial complex of protein has been identified that can regulate the proper correspondence of neurons at cellular level. The major proteins are KCC2 which is essential for inhibitory impulse, whereas the receptor for excitatory transmitter glutamate is GluK2, and Neto 2 protein interface with the other two proteins. All three proteins required for synaptic communication is brought together by this complex.
Vivek Madhavan, lead author of the study, along with other researchers conducted experiments on mice brain and found out that all the three proteins directly interact and control each others’ function.
BLUE NATIVE PAGE proved to be the most successful technique of applying a sensitive gel system for determining native protein complexes in neurons.
As such there is no treatment for epilepsy, and the treatments which are available can only curb its effects. Thus the main focus should be on its prevention.