Multiple Sclerosis Drug Treatment May Be Effective for Epilepsy

The study authors believe that the modification of teriflunomide and the development of new DHODH inhibitors is urgent for drug-resistant epilepsy patients

A drug commonly used to treat multiple sclerosis may one day be used to treat patients with Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy, according to a new research from the Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University (TAU).

There has been research surrounding the brain functions within a narrow range of activity between status epilepticus and coma, according to the press release. However, it has largely remained unknown as to how neural circuits maintain stable activity in a constantly changing environment.

According to professor Inna Slutsky, the research into neuronal homeostasis began nearly 25 years ago, but there is still very little known about it.

“What we have found is a homeostatic mechanism that acts as a sort of a thermostat of the neural circuits, which ensures the return to a set point after each even that increases or decreases brain activity,” she said, according to a press release.

To characterize metabolic changes caused by epilepsy, a PhD student involved in the study, Nir Gonen, plugged the genetic information of patients with epilepsy gleaned from published databases into a computational metabolic model. This model was developed in the lab of professor Eytan Ruppin, a joint-supervisor of the study, to identify the genes that transform the epileptic disease metabolic state back to a healthy one.

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