According to a new study that was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, silk implants can be placed in the brains of animals and, in some cases, stop epilepsy in its tracks. The study was conducted on animals, but the hope is that the silk implants will also aid humans with the condition.
The silk implants basically release a chemical called adenosine, which is what is causing the halt in epilepsy progression in the animals. The adenosine works by lowering the neuronal excitability, which is what aids in causing seizures. Previous studies have already shown that low levels of adenosine could cause epilepsy.
This new silk study was conducted by Rebecca L. Williams-Karnesky, Ph.D. and her colleagues from Legacy Research Institute, Portland, Ore., Oregon Health and Sciences University, Portland, and Tufts University, Boston. The researchers sought to see if silk implant therapy would release enough adenosine to slow down epilepsy effects.
While the implants worked, the animals weren’t given the implants until they had a specific number of seizures first because previous studies that looked into the anti-epilepsy drugs that are often given have a tendency to start too soon which interferes with what it is that is triggering the epilepsy’s progression. The authors believe that this rush causes the data to be too varied for any real accuracy to be present in terms of learning how to stop the progression of epilepsy in new cases.
“To avoid interference with the epilepsy-triggering mechanisms, we waited until all animals developed an early stage of epilepsy. In this model, the disease is life-long: seizures become more frequent and worsen with time. Therefore, we challenged ourselves to attempt treatment at a stage where epilepsy had already been established,” Dr. Detlev Boison says.
So far, the research is suggesting that the silk implants are safe, and the researchers are hoping that the implants will someday be used in clinics. Numerous drugs are currently used to treat epilepsy but do not do much in terms of halting the disease’s progression. One of those drugs in Topamax. Topamax is used to prevent seizures, but it is dangerous to use for women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. Topamax has been linked to an increased risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts as well as birth defects in women whose babies are exposed to the drug in-utero. Some of those birth defects linked to Topamax use during pregnancy include cleft lips, cleft palates, genital defects and other birth malformations.
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.