According to data collected from a new study on the popular anti-wrinkle agent botox, scientists may have found a significant role for a certain group of molecules called SNAREs that nerve cells utilize as a means of sending messages to the brain. What this could mean is that these SNAREs may be able to provide therapeutic targets for epilepsy and other neurological disorders. The results of this study were published in Cell Reports.

The study was conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health, and might just be the missing link that will aid scientists in hunting down information that will help them finally understand how the brain cells talk to one another under regular circumstances and in cases of disease.

“The results were very surprising,” said Ling-Gang Wu, Ph.D., a scientist at NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. “Like many scientists we thought SNAREs were only involved in fusion.”

How this system works is the nerve cells throughout the body constantly send messages to various points in the body called synapses. This type of cell-to-cell communication is what controls thoughts and movement. This communication also talks directly to senses, and this may help give doctors therapeutic charges for conditions like epilepsy. Nerve cells use neurotransmitters as a means of quickly getting messages to synapses. Those neurotransmitters are held in synaptic vesicles. The messages will finally be sent when the carrier shell fuses with the nerve cell’s own shell, which is called the plasma membrane. It is then that the shell releases the neurotransmitter “pellets” into the synapse. SNAREs now come into play as they are the three proteins that are known to be a necessary aspect of creating fusion between carrier shells and nerve cell membranes during the release of the neurotransmitter. And this study shows that botox causes a disruption in the SNAREs.

Even with the overwhelming number of people worldwide who suffer from epilepsy, many know little to nothing about the condition until either they or a family member is diagnosed with the condition. Much research still has to be done in order to assist doctors in finding faster methods of diagnosing and treating epilepsy.

Current anti-seizure medications like Topamax may be effective, but they come with serious side effects, too. Topamax has been linked to birth defects in babies whose mothers take Topamax while pregnant. Some of the birth defects linked to Topamax use include oral clefts, PPHN, spina bifida and neural tube defects.

If your baby was born with birth defects after in-utero exposure to Topamax, contact attorney Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting Topamax lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your child’s injuries.