Nature Medicine

Treatment during a vulnerable developmental period rescues a genetic epilepsy

Marguet SL, Le-Schulte VT, Merseburg A, Neu A, Eichler R, Jakovcevski I, Ivanov A, Hanganu-Opatz IL, Bernard C, Morellini F, Isbrandt D.

Contributed by Sloka Iyengar

Nature Medicine, vol 21 no. 12, pp 1436-1444 December 2015 doi:10.1038/nm.3987

There is a greater incidence of epilepsy during the first few years of life as neurodevelopmental processes are still underway. The current strategy is to administer anti-epileptic drugs after seizures occur. The authors of a recent paper investigated whether administration of bumetanide – a diuretic that blocks the NKCC1 cation-chloride co-transporter and dampens down depolarization – would be effective as an anti-epileptogenic agent in a mouse model of mutated Kv7 K+ channels. Transient administration of bumetanide was able to correct structural and functional changes in the hippocampus in the mutant mice. This study raises the possibility of bumetanide as an anti-epileptogenic agent.


Summary for non-specialists