News Release

Implantable device curbs seizures and improves cognition in epileptic rats

Approach reduces seizures by 93 percent in three months

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Society for Neuroscience

Attenuating Cell Death

image: GDNF releasing cells reduce epilepsy induced cell death. In a normal hippocampus (A) no overt sign of cell death can be observed, whereas many dying cells (stained in green) are observed in the epileptic hippocampus (B). GDNF releasing cells effectively attenuate cell death (C). view more 

Credit: Giovanna Paolone

A protein-secreting device implanted into the hippocampus of epileptic rats reduces seizures by 93 percent in three months, finds preclinical research published in JNeurosci. These results support ongoing development of this technology and its potential translation into a new treatment for epilepsy.

Motivated by an unmet need for effective and well-tolerated epilepsy therapies, Giovanna Paolone and colleagues of the University of Ferrara, Italy and of Gloriana Therapeutics, Inc. (Providence, RI) investigated the effects of the Gloriana targeted cellular delivery system for glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) -- a protein recent research suggests may help suppress epileptic activity.

In addition to quickly and progressively reducing seizures in male rats -- by 75 percent within two weeks -- the researchers found their device improved rats' anxiety-like symptoms and their performance on an object recognition task, indicating improvement in cognition.

The treatment also corrected abnormalities in brain anatomy associated with epilepsy. These effects persisted even after the device was removed, indicating this approach may modify the disease progression.


Article: Long-Term, Targeted Delivery of GDNF From Encapsulated Cells is Neuroprotective and Reduces Seizures


Corresponding author: Giovanna Paolone (University of Ferrara, Italy), or (Current address: University of Verona, Italy)

About JNeurosci

JNeurosci, the Society for Neuroscience's first journal, was launched in 1981 as a means to communicate the findings of the highest quality neuroscience research to the growing field. Today, the journal remains committed to publishing cutting-edge neuroscience that will have an immediate and lasting scientific impact, while responding to authors' changing publishing needs, representing breadth of the field and diversity in authorship.

About The Society for Neuroscience

The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.

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