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Contact: Robert Sanders
University of California - Berkeley

Preventing Epilepsy after Severe Head Trauma

Caption: When the blood-brain barrier is disrupted by a severe head injury, the blood protein albumin leaks into the brain and activates the TGF-beta receptor on astrocytes (tan cells), which triggers a cascade of events leading to inflammation. The net result can be hyperexcitable neurons (yellow) and epileptic seizures. Kaufer, Friedman and colleagues discovered this cause and effect and identified a drug that blocks the TGF-beta receptor, preventing seizures in rats.

Credit: Image by Greg Chin, Vlad Senatorov and Oscar Vasquez (UC Berkeley)

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