Device to control epileptic seizures works in rats

Scientists at the University of Ferrara, Italy, have developed a treatment for epilepsy with a device implanted into the brain.

The protein-secreting device reduced seizures in rats by more than 90 percent in three months and scientists hope to translate this technology for human use.

Motivated by the need for effective and well-tolerated epilepsy therapies, scientists, in collaboration with Gloriana Therapeutics, attempted to suppress epileptic activity using the protein GDNF.

While cutting seizure rates in male rats, the device also improved the anxiety-like symptoms of the rats anxiety-like symptoms and their performance in cognition testing tasks.

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“Animal research has been and continues to be essential for the development of new treatments for human diseases. In the field of epilepsy, animal models have allowed identification of many drug treatments that not only proved effective for human epilepsy, but also for the treatment of other diseases like neuropathic pain and bipolar depression.”

Michele Simonato, Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Ferrara

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