Research shows how the brain’s immune system is linked to epilepsy, possibly worsening the condition.
The study was conducted at the University of Iowa and published in Cell Reports.
“Here, we show that pk mutant brains show elevated, sustained neuronal cell death that correlates with increasing seizure penetrance, as well as an upregulation of mitochondrial oxidative stress and innate immune response (IIR) genes,” the researchers explained in the findings. “Moreover, flies exhibiting more robust seizures show increased levels of IIR-associated target gene expression suggesting they may be linked.”
“Although our results support previous findings in rodent models of epilepsy whereby pharmacological inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokines released by glial cells leads to seizure suppression,44,45,46,79,80 we provide direct genetic evidence that specifically reducing the IIR in glia of an animal seizure model can suppress exacerbation of the seizure disorder,” the researchers explained.
“These data provide direct genetic evidence that oxidative stress in combination with glial-mediated IIR leads to progression of an epilepsy disorder.”