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Scientists identify mechanisms to reduce epileptic seizures following TBI

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found that halting production of new
neurons in the brain following traumatic brain injury can help reduce resulting epileptic
seizures, cognitive decline, and impaired memory.
Injury to the brain stimulates the production of new neurons, but these new cells are
sometimes hyperexcitable, disrupting neural circuits and causing recurring seizures,
researchers with UT Southwestern's Texas Institute for Brain Injury and Repair reported
in Nature Communications.
Effectively stopping the process in genetically modified mice resulted in fewer seizures.
In addition, eliminating the development of new neurons -- a process called
neurogenesis -- appeared to reduce cognitive decline and impairment of memory,
common effects of seizures.
"Understanding the mechanisms that promote aberrant neurogenesis caused by
traumatic brain injury and subsequent seizures may open new therapeutic avenues to
prevent epilepsy and associated memory problems caused by impact," said senior
author Dr. Jenny Hsieh, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology and a member of the
UT Southwestern Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine.
Halting development of new neurons resulted in a roughly 40 percent reduction in
seizure frequency in the mice, but did not alter the duration of individual seizures.
However, the researchers found that stopping neurogenesis before the development of
seizures had a long-lasting effect, suppressing chronic seizure frequency for nearly one
year, even at a late stage of the disease.
An estimated 3 million Americans and 65 million people worldwide currently live with
epilepsy, costing an estimated $15.5 billion annually, according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention. Traumatic brain injury accounts for 20 percent of
epileptic seizures, but how or why recurring seizures develop after a severe brain injury
has thus far been unclear. Some drugs can help control seizures, but there is no drug to
prevent or cure epilepsy.
Degenerative diseases of the heart, brain, and other tissues represent the largest cause
of death and disability in the world, affecting virtually everyone over the age of 40 and
accounting for the lion's share of health care costs. Regenerative medicine represents a
new frontier in science, which seeks to understand the mechanistic basis of tissue aging,
repair, and regeneration and to leverage this knowledge to improve human health.
UT Southwestern's Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine, led by
Molecular Biology Chair Dr. Eric Olson, was established in 2014 with a $10 million
endowment gift from the Hamon Charitable Foundation. The Center's goals are to
understand the basic mechanisms underlying tissue and organ formation, and then to

use this knowledge to regenerate, repair, and replace tissues damaged by aging and
injury.
The Hsieh lab studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurogenesis to
understand how stem cells become mature, functioning nerve cells, and how aberrant
neurogenesis contributes to seizure formation, an unwarranted side effect of
neuroregenerative strategies.

New MenB vaccine could provide babies with protection against deadly MenW strain.

New research recently published in the journal Emerging


Infectious Diseases shows that the new MenB
vaccine Bexsero (routinely offered to UK infants since
September 2015) should provide additional protection
against a particularly harmful strain of MenW (called ST11).
The MenW ST-11 strain has caused a year-on-year
increase in cases of meningococcal disease (meningitis
and septicaemia) in England since 2009 and is associated with severe illness and a
higher death rate than other strains (13% fatality compared to 5-10%). Cases due to this
strain nearly doubled from 2014 to 2015.
Such was the concern about this rapid rise that the government introduced a programme
in August 2015 (which is still ongoing throughout the UK) for teenagers from the age of
13-18 to be given a one off vaccine to protect them from the disease.
In this latest research, scientists from Public Health England have used MRFs open
access Meningococcus Genome Library to study the genes of all MenW ST-11 bacteria
that caused disease in England and Wales between 1st July 2010 and 30th June 2013.
Results showed that the bacteria possess versions of two proteins (known as antigens)
which are very similar to those contained in the Bexsero vaccine. Therefore, the immune
system of babies immunised with Bexsero should quickly recognise invading MenW ST11 bacteria as harmful and kill them.
Furthermore, the researchers found that blood taken from children immunised with
Bexsero was able to kill MenW ST-11 bacteria, whereas blood taken from children
before immunisation with Bexsero was not.
Linda Glennie, Head of Research and Medical Information at MRF said: We are
delighted that our Genome Library has been instrumental in establishing that Bexsero
could offer additional protection against MenW ST-11 for infants. Although MenACWY
vaccination of adolescents (the age group most likely to carry meningococcal bacteria)
should help protect the whole population from this particularly harmful strain by reducing

transmission, itwill take some time to establish this. Its hoped that Bexsero will offer
additional protection against MenW ST-11 for babies as well as preventing MenB, so the
results of this recent laboratory study are encouraging. We look forward to seeing the
real life impact of Bexsero vaccination on MenW disease.

CRITIC: Scientists identify mechanisms to reduce epileptic seizures following TBI

An epileptic seizure is a brief episode of signs or symptoms due to abnormal


excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain. The outward effect can vary
from uncontrolled jerking movement (tonic-clonic seizure) to as subtle as a momentary
loss of awareness. This could cause injury to the patient or client experiencing this
seizure. Today, scientists now identified some mechanisms to reduce epileptic seizures.
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found that halting production of new
neurons in the brain following traumatic brain injury can help reduce resulting epileptic
seizures, cognitive decline, and impaired memory. There is no drug to reduce seizures
and to cure epilepsy, but this research would be a great start in making treatment to this
disease. Halting development of new neurons resulted in a roughly 40 percent reduction
in seizure frequency in the mice, but did not alter the duration of individual seizures.
Researchers also found out that stopping neurogenesis before the development of
seizure had a long-lasting effect, suppressing chronic seizure frequency for nearly one
year, even at a late stage of the disease. This research would help people to have hope
in curing this disease and mostly reducing epileptic seizures.

CRITIC: New MenB vaccine could provide babies with protection against deadly MenW
strain.
In UK, Meningitis B is most commonly acquired by pediatric patients. Thats why
on September 2015 babies born on or after 1 July 2015 are being offered the MenB
(meningococcal group B) vaccine as part of the routine immunization schedule and
babies born on or after 1 May are being offered the vaccine as part of a one off catch-up
campaign. The vaccine is available free of charge to people in the UK and Ireland with
medical conditions that increase their risk of the disease. The vaccine can be purchased
privately in the UK and Ireland, so people who are not currently eligible for the vaccine
on the NHS can get it if they pay for it. Now, the MenB Vaccine can now provide

protection to babies against dead MenW strain. Meningitis is one of the leading cause of
death in UK which has six different kinds, serogroups A, B, C, W, X, and Y cause the
most disease. For decades meningococcal B has been the main serogroup, and
meningococcal C was also common until the MenC vaccine was introduced, reducing
cases to just a handful each year. However, cases of meningococcal W (MenW) have
risen year on year since 2009. Public Health England has shown that since 2008/9 when
MenW accounted for only 1-2% of meningococcal cases, it has increased to cause 24%
of cases in 2014/15. This is a great update because it shows the alertness of the UK
government in such disease. This is also a great news to the people here in the
Philippines because when the time arrives that these diseases actually went to our
country, their vaccines would help a lot to those who are in need.