Schizophrenia, Epilepsy treatment proposed BRISTOL, England, May 8 (UPI) — British scientists say increasing the amount of a specific brain protein might be a way of treating diseases such as epilepsy and schizophrenia.
The Bristol University research team, led by professor Jeremy Henley, discovered when one type of brain receptor — the kainate receptor — receives a chemical signal a small protein called SUMO becomes attached to it. SUMO pulls the kainate receptor from the synapse, preventing it from receiving information from other cells, thus making the cell less excitable.
“This work is important because it gives a new perspective and a deeper understanding of how the flow of information between cells in the brain is regulated,” said Henley. “It is possible that increasing the amount of SUMO attached to kainate receptors … could be a way to treat epilepsy by preventing over-excitation.”
The study, funded by Britain’s Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust and the European Union, appears in the current issue of the journal Nature.