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  #1  
Old 11-25-2008, 11:21 AM
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Scientists Shed Light on Causes of Epilepsy


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LONDON — A breakdown in a reaction between immune cells and blood vessels in the brain appears to play a key role in epilepsy, Italian researchers said on Monday.

The discovery could mean that some modern antibody-based drugs designed to modify the immune system used in other diseases may one day help fight the debilitating disorder.

A study of mice showed how immune cells sticking to blood vessels in the brain caused inflammation that contributed to epileptic seizures, Gabriela Constantin of the University of Verona in Italy and colleagues reported.

The finding could lead to new treatments to prevent the condition that affects about 1 percent of the general population worldwide, said Constantin, who led the study with Paolo Fabene. Its findings were published in the journal Nature Medicine.

"This mechanism was not previously suspected in epilepsy," she said in a telephone interview.

Epilepsy is considered incurable but medicines can control seizures in most people with the common neurological disorder, although sometimes they can have severe side effects.

Many seizures -- which are caused by excessive electrical activity in the brain -- involve loss of consciousness, with the body twitching or shaking. People who have more than one seizure are considered to have epilepsy.

The researchers found that during a seizure the brain released a chemical that caused the white blood cells, or leukocytes, to stick to blood vessels. The immune cells protect the body from threats such as bacteria, viruses, and infections.

But when these immune cells stuck to the brain blood vessels they caused damage by releasing molecules that caused inflammation and contributed to seizures in mice, Constantin said.

"We found a lot of inflammation in this process in the generation of a new seizure," she said.

Mice that received monoclonal antibodies to block the immune cells from sticking to blood vessels had a dramatic reduction of seizures, in some cases 100 percent, Constantin said.

The treatment worked in a similar way to Elan Corp Plc's multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri and Genentech Inc's Raptiva for psoriasis, she added.

This means these kinds of drugs might also one day be used to treat epilepsy and the findings could also lead to new anti-inflammatory treatments for epilepsy, she said.

"We predict other inflammatory drugs can work and be discovered for use in humans," she said. "We have preliminary data on other inflammatory mechanism."
(Reporting by Martina Fuchs, Editing by Michael Kahn)
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Old 11-25-2008, 11:22 AM
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I just wish for once they would consider how the immune system has been compromised by environmental and chemical causes.
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:36 PM
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Thumbs up Blood-brain barrier


Interesting! I hope this leads to more research on how to keep the blood-brain barrier healthy/intact.

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Epilepsy may develop as a result of the body’s own defensive cells getting stuck to blood vessels, researchers report in Nature Medicine.

Leaks in the blood brain barrier, which normally prevents harmful molecules from passing from blood into the brain, have been implicated in inducing seizures and epilepsy. However, it is unclear what mechanisms might lead to rupture of the blood brain barrier.

Paolo Fabene, of the University of Verona in Italy, and his colleagues now show that leukocytes, cells of the immune system that defend the body from bacteria and virus, might be responsible.

Using a mouse model of epilepsy, researchers found that during seizures ‘sticky’ adhesion molecules are more prevalent in blood vessels and that leukocytes consequently stick more to the sides of blood vessels, causing inflammation that leads to seizures.
...
Epilepsy – a sticky situation - November 24, 2008
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:39 PM
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There are several news reports related to the original post - not sure how many of them are static (ie. won't get deleted in a month or so):

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...112401214.html

http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/...e_of_epilepsy/

http://www.reuters.com/article/scien...4AN34120081125

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7741680.stm
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Last edited by RobinN; 01-01-2009 at 12:52 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:05 PM
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Interesting article. Robin
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Old 12-16-2008, 08:42 AM
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The immune system gains strength from minerals to synthesize proteins which make up all the cells of the body. Important minerals include: ---zinc, which increases the number of lymphocytes to fight cancers. Dietary sources of zinc are whole grains and cooked oysters

---iron, which fights infection and strengthens overall immunity. However, too much iron can be harmful and a physician should be consulted before starting a program of using iron supplements. Meats, dried beans and tofu are good sources of iron.

---selenium, which helps to increase the number of antibodies and encourages growth of immune cells. This mineral can cause damage if too much is ingested so supplements are not recommended. Food sources are fish, grains and nuts.

One of the strongest antioxidants is vitamin C, which boosts the immune system to aggressively react on cancer cells. Diets high in this nutrient are linked to reduced risks for stomach, breast, colorectal and prostate cancers
. Good sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits, green peppers, cantaloupes and broccoli Those who use tobacco products should eat even more foods containing vitamin C or take supplements since smoking deplete vitamin C reserves quicker than others.

Another important antioxidant is vitamin E. This nutrient helps to slow down the symptoms of aging and strengthen body cells that fight infection. People who eat foods rich in vitamin E or take supplements have an added weapon against bacteria and viruses. Vitamin E also helps in the fight against heart disease and cancer. Good food sources of are whole grain foods and vegetable oils. Supplements are recommended to reach the daily requirement of this vitamin. Check with your doctor on the dose.

Carotenoids are antioxidants that help to strengthen the immune system by producing lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are cells important to fighting infection. The best sources for carotenoids are the red, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, cantaloupes, pumpkin, etc. and leafy green foods. The four important carotenoids are beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin. All of these provide excellent protection against disease.
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:19 AM
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Dr Mark Hyman say that "new research proves that almost all brain problems are connected to or caused by inflammation"

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I’ll say it again: Treat the inflammation in your body and you can heal your brain!

But how do you do that?

You do it by finding and eliminating the sources of inflammation.

The Sources of Inflammation

Everything in the body is connected, but there are only a few things that cause inflammation.

The list is short:

1. Our inflammatory diet, which consists of enormous amounts of sugar (158 pounds per person per year) and refined flours, as well as trans fats and saturated fats

2. Food allergens—mostly delayed reactions to food or hidden allergens that lead to “brain allergies” (allergic reactions in the body that cause inflammation in the brain—more about these in a moment)

3. Imbalances in digestive function and the gut immune system that produce widespread systemic effects

4. Toxins such as mercury and pesticides (and the 85,000 mostly untested toxins in our environment), which have been linked to immune dysfunction and autoimmune diseases

5. Low-grade, hidden, or chronic infections such as HIV-associated dementia, syphilis, and Lyme disease, which can cause many neurologic and psychiatric “diseases”

6. Stress—emotional or physical, such as trauma

7. Sedentary lifestyle

8. Inadequate sleep—less than 7 hours a night

9. Nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin D, zinc, and omega-3 fats

Are you starting to see how all these keys are connected?

If you go to the doctor and you are depressed, but you also have irritable bowel, or eczema, or headaches, or sinus congestion, or joint pain, it doesn’t mean you need to see five different specialists. It means that there are a few underlying systems that are out of balance and cause ALL your problems—and you don’t need to treat each one separately with medication!
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These brain allergies manifest themselves as brain fog, trouble focusing, irritability, depression, or mood swings after eating.

Most of these brain allergies are due to mild, hidden, delayed food allergies: you eat a piece of bread on Monday and feel depressed on Tuesday, but you never make the connection. As a result, your brain becomes inflamed.

Hidden food allergies are a major unrecognized epidemic in the 21st century. Despite the fact that the immune system and the brain are intimately linked and food has a MAJOR impact on the brain and body, most of us (including physicians) don’t make the connection between what we eat and how we feel. In fact, most physicians practicing today don’t acknowledge the critically important role food allergies play in health.

The result is that we have an undiagnosed epidemic of people whose lives are affected by low-grade, delayed food sensitivities or allergies. What they eat causes allergic reactions that make them feel bad—and no one is making the connections.

You can take some simple measures on your own to heal from brain allergies. You just have to take away the substances that most often cause allergic reactions for a few weeks and let your immune system cool down. Then try them again and see how you feel.

How to Cool Off Inflammation
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:54 AM
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It makes a lot of sense to me. There is a definite road map available for people who want to be proactive rather than "living life on their own terms and taking a pill for what ails them".
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Old 12-24-2008, 03:10 PM
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this is awesome!!! I hope they have enough money to move forward with the research...
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Old 12-24-2008, 03:16 PM
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wow with some of those ways to fight it, i dont stand a chance O.o
Headaches stress depression...i mean how do you fight the side effects??
Im glad im a vegetarian though ^.^ and i have my vitamins and such covered
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