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This article was published in June 2016. The information may be out of date. Please check our epilepsy information or our site A-Z.

New research finds the pathway through which stress can trigger seizures in people with epilepsy

23 Jun 2016

New research has identified the possible mechanism that leads stress to trigger seizures in some people with epilepsy.

Researchers at Western University in Canada, found that epilepsy changes the way the brain responds to stress. They looked at the brains of rats with and without epilepsy. Professor Michael Poulter and his colleagues studied a chemical in the brain called corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) which is usually involved in the way brains react to stress.

In rats without epilepsy, the chemical dampened activity in a part of the brain known to support seizures. In rats with epilepsy, it actually boosted activity there, increasing the chances of a seizure.

The study, published in the journal Science Signaling, concluded that there may be an opportunity to look at CRF-blocking medicines to prevent stress-induced seizures.

Prof Poultier said: “We are very excited about this possibility for treating epilepsy patients.”


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