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Trigger region found for absence epileptic seizures

190425104319_1_900x600 Spike-wave discharges can be seen in the electrocorticograms (ECoGs) from the left and right somatosensory cortices (SSCs) of an Stxbp1+/? mouse. A portion of the spike-wave discharge is expanded in green below. Credit: RIKEN
Kazuhiro Yamakawa and his team at the RIKEN Center for Brain Science (CBS) in Japan has shown that absence epilepsy can be triggered by impaired communication between two brain regions: the cortex and the striatum. The researchers took STXBP1 and SCN2A genes  created mice with one normal gene and one mutated gene -- a condition called haplodeficiency, which is different from a complete knockout. They showed that Spike Wave Discharges (SWD)  can be blocked by drugs than inhibit neurons from exciting each other. The scientists injected a neuronal inhibitor into several brain regions hoping to find which ones were related to the seizures. They...
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