One in 26 people in the United States will develop epilepsy at some point in their lives, and an estimated 66 million people in the world currently have the disease. The incidence of epilepsy is higher in older adults and young children. Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), the most common form of partial or localization-related (focal) epilepsy, accounts for about 60% of all forms. Medial TLE accounts for about 80% of all temporal lobe seizures. Although TLE is common, no effective treatments or preventive strategies exist other than neurosurgical resection, which benefits only a small percentage of patients. This therapeutic void leads to a higher risk of memory and mood difficulties, reduced quality of life, and death in people with TLE.
Recently, Nicolas G. Bazan, MD, PhD, Boyd Professor and Director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence, and Alberto E. Musto, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Research, Neurosurgery and Neuroscience, at Louisiana State University Health New Orleans, found that the systemic administration of neuroprotectin D-1 (NPD-1)—an omega-3 essential fatty acid—modulates epileptogenesis, including TLE. TLE, also known as limbic epileptogenesis, is characterized by spontaneous, recurrent seizures arising in the hippocampus and other limbic structures that may propagate to other regions of the brain and trigger severe, secondary, generalized seizures. The development of TLE is incompletely understood but has to do with a molecular cascade resulting in dysfunctional neuronal connectivity that involves a multi-architectural neural network of the limbic system and hippocampal formation. These combined elements contribute to a systemic cerebral process of chronic, spontaneous, recurrent seizures.
As suggested by recent evidence in rodent studies, omega-3 essential fatty acids, including NPD1, may be neuroprotective and improve neurologic outcomes in models of epilepsy. Using multi-electrode arrays implanted in the dorsal hippocampus in freely moving mice, Dr Bazan and Dr Musto observed that systemic administration of NPD1 reduces brief spontaneous epileptiform field potentials and dentritic spine loss in the dorsal hippocampus with resultant limited hippocampal epileptic activity. The precise mechanisms through which NPD1 exerts its effects remain to be completely elucidated. However, understanding the cell-type specific molecular and cellular events underlying the activity of NPD1 during limbic seizures is expected to contribute to improved therapies for the prevention of neuronal network dysfunction and limiting TLE. Potentially this research could lead to new therapeutic approaches not only for circuitry impairment in seizure development but for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.
About The Connexion Healthcare Neuroscience Center of Excellence
Connexion Healthcare’s Neuroscience Center of Excellence offers executive talent with decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Our team works with you to conceive a strategy and execute communications through the lifespan of your product—from drug discovery through market launch and beyond. With particular expertise in phase 2 through postlaunch, we will engage with you wherever you are in the development process and whenever you need us. Comprised of medical directors with scientific and clinical experience, account leads with project execution expertise, medical editors versed in neuroscience, and design leads at the top in their fields Connexion Healthcare ensures that your objectives are met effectively and even surpassed in an industry-eloquent and compliant manner.
For further information regarding the Neuroscience Center of Excellence at Connexion Healthcare and how we can develop neuroscience communications to differentiate therapies by their unique attributes, contact:
Liz Bloink, Senior Vice President‒Neuroscience Center of Excellence