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UV Light Helps Reduce Seizure-Like Activity in Rats

Light-emitting diode in combination with caged GABA points to treatment in human epilepsy

MONDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The use of an ultraviolet light-emitting diode (UV LED) in conjunction with caged γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) can release the GABA and reduce seizure-like activity in an animal model of epilepsy, according to research published in the January issue of Epilepsia.

Xiao-Feng Yang, M.D., of the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis, and colleagues discuss their experiments using slices of rat brains bathed in a form of caged GABA called BC204 and exposed to UV-LED illumination.

When the researchers elicited population spikes in the CA1 area, illumination without BC204 didn't affect the spikes, but when BC204 was added, illumination did reduce the peak of the spike. When seizure-like activity was induced in neocortical slices, baseline voltage standard deviation, spike number, and burst count were reduced with UV LED and BC204, but not UV LED illumination alone.

"These strongly positive results, in an epilepsy model far more severe than the naturally occurring disease, suggest that this technique could translate to human epilepsy," the authors conclude.

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