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Medicineworld.org: Why seizures occur with alcohol withdrawal

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Why seizures occur with alcohol withdrawal




Epileptic seizures are the most dramatic and prominent aspect of the "alcohol withdrawal syndrome" that occurs when a person abruptly stops a long-term or chronic drinking habit. Scientists have shown that the flow of calcium ions into brain cells via voltage-gated calcium channels plays an important role in the generation of alcohol withdrawal seizures, because blocking this flow suppresses these seizures. But do the changes in calcium currents contribute to alcohol withdrawal seizures or are they a consequence of the seizures?



Why seizures occur with alcohol withdrawal

Using a careful analysis of correlations between the course of alcohol withdrawal seizures and the expression of calcium currents, Georgetown University Medical Center scientists observed that the enhancement of total calcium current density in pre-clinical animal studies occur previous to the onset of alcohol withdrawal seizures. The research presented at 39th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience also shows that calcium currents remain enhanced during the period of seizure susceptibility, but return to control levels when the period of seizure susceptibility is over.

"These preliminary findings are the first to indicate that altered calcium channel activity contributes to the occurrence of alcohol withdrawal seizures," explains main author, Prosper N'Gouemo, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at GUMC. "The next step in our research is to determine which types of voltage-gated calcium channels contribute to the enhanced current density that takes place before the onset of alcohol withdrawal seizures so a potential therapy can be developed".


Posted by: Daniel    Source




Did you know?
Epileptic seizures are the most dramatic and prominent aspect of the "alcohol withdrawal syndrome" that occurs when a person abruptly stops a long-term or chronic drinking habit. Scientists have shown that the flow of calcium ions into brain cells via voltage-gated calcium channels plays an important role in the generation of alcohol withdrawal seizures, because blocking this flow suppresses these seizures. But do the changes in calcium currents contribute to alcohol withdrawal seizures or are they a consequence of the seizures?

Medicineworld.org: Why seizures occur with alcohol withdrawal

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