Sunday, February 12, 2017
Vital links between brain tumors and epileptic seizures.
A research by scientists at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital and which is published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, report that the emergence of specific brain cells during brain tumor progression in a mouse model marked the onset of seizures and brain tumor invasion. This study opens the possibility of detecting brain tumors at the earliest possible stage and eliminating them before seizures begin.An improved understanding of how brain tumors cause seizures can potentially lead to strategies to prevent them or treat them. Astrocytes are often broadly categorized as one cell type, a lot of diversity exists in the functions carried out by these cells. The brain has billions of cells of which only 30 percent are neurons and the astrocytes are the predominant cell type of the remaining 70 percent. Astrocytes play diverse roles in the brain, from supporting the functions of neurons, participating in synapse formation and function and in the release of neurotransmitters, to making the blood-brain barrier and other functions. The researchers compared the ability of the different subpopulations of astrocytes to support the formation and function of synapses between neurons. Astrocytes are associated with numerous neurological conditions such as injury, multiple sclerosis, autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and brain tumors.