Navigation Links
Feeling hot, hot, hot: New study suggests ways to control fever-induced seizures
Date:8/21/2007

When your body cranks up the heat, its a sign that somethings wrongand a fever is designed to help fight off the infection. But turning up the temperature can have a down side: in about one in 25 infants or small children, high fever can trigger fever-induced (febrile) seizures. While the seizures themselves are generally harmless, a prolonged fever resulting from infection or heatstroke of over 108˚F (42˚C) can eventually lead to respiratory distress, cognitive dysfunction, brain damage or death.

New research by scientists at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Queens University has shown that genetic variation in the foraging gene results in different tolerance for heat stress, and demonstrates how the use of specific drugs can replicate this effect in fruit flies and locusts. While the findings are at an early stage, the researchers suggest that since this genetic pathway is found in other organisms, it could lead to ways to rapidly protect the brain from extremely high fevers in mammals, including humans. The new study appears in the August 22 issue of the journal PLoS ONE, the online, open-access journal from the Public Library of Science.

Our research suggests that manipulation of a single gene or genetic pathway will be sufficient to rapidly protect the nervous system from damage due to extreme heat stress, says senior researcher, Professor Marla B. Sokolowski, who holds a Canada Research Chair in Genetics.

In their research, post-doctoral fellow Ken Dawson-Scully and Sokolowski demonstrate that the foraging gene, responsible for a protein called PKG, protects against heat-induced neural failure in fruit flies and locusts. When they increased the temperature by 5˚C per minute (starting from 22˚C and rising to 42˚C), they found that fruit flies with a lower level of PKG experienced neural failure at much higher temperatures than those with higher levels of PKG.

Using drugs that interact with the PKG molecule, the researchers showed it is possible to induce an extremely rapid protection of neural function during heat stress. Queen's biologists Gary Armstrong and Mel Robertson exposed locusts to increasing heat while monitoring the neural circuit that controls breathing. At approximately 30˚C (about three minutes before expected neural failure), the researchers injected the locusts with a PKG inhibitor. Compared to locusts who received a placebo injection, the treated locusts showed a rapid and significant protection of their neural circuitry.

During heat trauma to the brain, there exists a window of opportunity between the time of occurrence of neural dysfunction and eventual brain damage or death, says Dawson-Scully. Manipulation of the PKG pathway during this period should increase an individuals chance of survival.

The research was supported by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.


'/>"/>
Contact: Nicolle Wahl
nicolle.wahl@utoronto.ca
905-569-4656
Public Library of Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Feeling old?
2. How plants avoid feeling the burn
3. Detecting cold, feeling pain: Study reveals why menthol feels fresh
4. Putting feelings into words produces therapeutic effects in the brain
5. How to lose weight and not go hungry: HU researcher develops drug that mimics feeling of fullness
6. Bioartificial kidney under study at MCG
7. Novel Asthma Study Shows Multiple Genetic Input Required; Single-gene Solution Shot Down
8. W.M. Keck Foundation funds study of friendly microbes
9. Yellowstone microbes fueled by hydrogen, according to U. of Colorado study
10. Emory Study Tests Bone Marrow Stem Cells to Improve Circulation in Legs
11. UCLA Study Shows One-Third of Drug Ads in Medical Journals Do Not Contain References Supporting Medical Claims
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/15/2016)... June 15, 2016 Transparency ... titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis ... 2024". According to the report, the  global gesture recognition ... 2015 and is estimated to grow at a ... by 2024.  Increasing application of gesture ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... June 9, 2016 Paris ... Teleste,s video security solution to ensure the safety of people ... during the major tournament Teleste, an international ... and services, announced today that its video security solution will ... to back up public safety across the country. The system ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... , June 3, 2016 ... von Nepal hat ... Lieferung hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung ... in der Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. ... Ausschreibung im Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has ... Association to serve as their official health care ... Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, ... coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. "We ... Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality services ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016   EpiBiome , a precision microbiome engineering ... debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The financing ... advance its drug development efforts, as well as purchase ... "SVB has been an incredible strategic partner to us ... bank would provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes Hammack ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced positive ... its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The trials were ... studies designed to assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics ... healthy adult volunteers. Forty subjects were ... dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) or repeated ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the ... Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to ... a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: