A new form of prophylactic treatment for brain damage from prolonged epileptic seizures has been developed in animal testing by Emory University School of Medicine, Science Daily reports.
A prolonged seizure is referred to a status epilepticus medically, and it signifies a seizure lasting long enough to be potentially life-threatening. Some say status epilepticus seizures are those lasting longer than 30 minutes, but some doctors say seizures lasting over five minutes have the potential to be life threatening. It causes roughly 55,000 deaths each year in the United States alone, and can be brought on by stroke, brain tumor, or infection, as well as inadequate treatment and control of epilepsy.
The current standard treatment for status epilepticus is the administration of an anticonvulsant or general anesthesia. These treatments aim to stop the seizure more quickly, but does not prevent against other damages that could have occurred, such as brain damage.
The researchers instead are aiming to create an anti-inflammatory compound that can be given after acute status epilepticus has ended to reduce damage to the brain, usually caused by brain swelling. They believe they have developed such a compound after positive findings in their research in mice.
The findings have been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.