We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.


Researchers find an important clue to potential treatments for absence seizures

Want a FREE PDF version of This News Story?

Complete the form below and we will email you a PDF version of "Researchers find an important clue to potential treatments for absence seizures"

Technology Networks Ltd. needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy

Read time:

Absence seizures are believed to be elicited by T-type calcium channels in the thalamic reticular nucleus of the brain that regulate influxes of calcium. These channels enable thalamic reticular nucleus neurons to generate burst firing, leading the neurons to enter a hyper-excited state.

In order to identify the relationship between burst firing and absence seizures, the researchers conducted an experiment to induce absence seizures in mice using gene targeting techniques to delete the T-type calcium channel CaV3.3. The results showed that mice that received a complete genetic deletion of the T-type calcium channel, which in turn suppressed burst firing in the thalamic reticular nucleus, exhibited an increased frequency of absence seizures.

Moreover, the researchers observed for the first time ever that tonic firing also increased in such mice. The study was the first to discover that tonic firing plays a key role in the induction of absence seizure, which contradicts the existing hypothesis and carries significant implications for absence seizure treatment research.

The study is meaningful in respect to the fact that it calls into question the role of the T-type calcium channel in the reticular thalamus, and is expected to provide an important theoretical foundation for understanding its role in the mechanism of absence seizures, as well as developing effective treatment methods for absence epilepsy.

Note: Material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

Institute for Basic Science   press release


S.E. Lee, J. Lee, C. Latchoumane, B. Lee, S.-J. Oh, Z.A. Saud, C. Park, N. Sun, E. Cheong, C.-C. Chen, E.-J. Choi, C.J. Lee, H.-S. Shin. Rebound burst firing in the reticular thalamus is not essential for pharmacological absence seizures in mice.   Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Published August 12 2014. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1408609111