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Better view of neurons may lead to better epilepsy therapies


Narrator:       This is Science Today. There are basically two main approaches to treating epilepsy — medication and surgery. About 70 percent of patients respond to current drug treatments and for those unresponsive to medication, surgery is another option. But researcher Maxim Bazhenov of the University of California, Riverside, explains that the surgery is a complicated procedure and may cause severe side effects.

Bazhenov:      That's why any new approach from pharmacology, which is a much easier way than surgery to deal with this, could benefit lots of patients, especially considering how many people suffer from epilepsy.

Narrator:       Bazhenov and his colleagues are using computer models to study epileptic seizures at a molecular level and by seeing such a detailed view of neurons, they may be able to develop novel therapeutics for the seizure disorder.

Bazhenov:      It's a long way from model to animal test and to clinical settings.  What we're trying to do now is actually test predictions of this model to show that in animal model, it will work. And if it does, then next would be kind of start thinking about direct clinical applications.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.