New York: In what could help prevent epilepsy and improve treatment for schizophrenia and other neurological disorders, researchers have now identified a complex network of proteins that contribute to these afflictions.
An imbalance among levels of excitation and inhibition can cause seizures. pic for representattional purpose
“Our study pertains to the discovery of the ying-yang for neuronal cross-talk that is essential for normal healthy brain function,” Chennai-born Vivek Mahadevan, a PhD student at the University of Toronto in Canada said.
Neurons in the brain communicate with other neurons through synapses, communication that can either excite or inhibit other neurons.
“An imbalance among the levels of excitation and inhibition — a tip towards excitation, for example, causes improper brain function and can produce seizures,” professor Melanie Woodin, who led the investigation, explained.
“We identified a key complex of proteins that can regulate excitation-inhibition balance at the cellular level,” Woodin added.
This complex brings together three key proteins — KCC2, Neto2 and GluK2 — required for inhibitory and excitatory synaptic communication.
There is no cure for epilepsy, the best available treatments only control its effects such as convulsions and seizures.
The study appeared in the journal Cell Reports.