A joint Israeli-American study has identified a drug that could prevent changes in the brain that lead to epilepsy after brain trauma. For people who suffer severe head injuries, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that because of better medical care, many people who would have previously died of their injuries now survive. The bad is that between 25-50 percent of them will go on to develop epilepsy, and currently no treatment exists to prevent this happening.
Now an Israeli neurosurgeon believes he may have an answer. Dr. Alon Friedman, a professor and researcher at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, together with researchers from UC Berkeley, California has identified a TGF Beta Blocker that prevents epilepsy after traumatic brain injury in rats.
If the findings, which were published this month in The Journal of Neuroscience, are confirmed in humans, a TGF-beta blocker may prevent many cases of epilepsy in accident victims, Iraqi war GIs who suffer from brain trauma after roadside bomb attacks, or people who develop epilepsy after brain tumors, meningitis or other infections to the brain.
In the Western world, epilepsy affects approximately five million people, with some 400,000 new cases diagnosed each year. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in the US, approximately 2.3 million Americans currently live with epilepsy, and each year, an estimated 25,000 to 50,000 die of seizures and related causes.
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Anti Boycott Israel blog: épilepsie