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Toxic gas in rat brain shows potential for new treatments for dementia

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Potential treatments for dementia and epilepsy may appear to reduce the amount of toxic gas in the brain, revealed in a new study using rat brain cells.

Studies published in Science report today [Wednesday 14 April] Shows that treatments that lower the levels of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in the brain may help prevent gas-induced damage. By testing rat brain cells, a team of scientists from the University of Reading, the University of Leeds, and Johns Hopkins University in the United States have found that H2S is involved in blocking key brain cell gateways that help the brain communicate effectively. I found.

Dr. Mark Dallas, an associate professor of cell neuroscience at the University of Reading, said:

“This is an exciting discovery as it gives us new insights into the role of hydrogen sulfide in various brain disorders such as dementia and epilepsy. There is growing interest in the effects of hydrogen sulfide on the brain. This study may have an impact on its accumulation on proper brain function.

“We have confirmed that hydrogen sulfide acts to interfere with the normal functioning of potassium channels. These channels regulate the electrical activity of the entire connection between brain cells, and these channels function properly. If you block, you will see hyperexcitable brain cells that may lead to nerve cells. Death.

“Finding drugs that target the production of hydrogen sulfide in our brain can bring many benefits to the disease, between the accumulation of hydrogen sulfide and other warning signs of the disease, such as Alzheimer’s disease. The potential therapeutic impact is particularly exciting because there is a clear association with.

In this study, cells taken from rat brains were filled with H2S donor molecules and the electrical signals of the brain cells were monitored. The resulting exposure to H2S increased the activity level of brain cells, and studies were able to establish that the effects were specifically regulated by the tested potassium channels.

The team was also able to identify which part of the potassium channel enabled this effect from H2S. They used a variant of potassium channel that has already been shown to protect neurons from many toxic stimuli, including amyloid beta, and found that the mutation was resistant to the effects of H2S found in natural cells. Did.

Given the protective effect against amyloid beta, which is also associated with dementia, certain mutant channels are currently of particular interest in the study of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Mosaal Oweiss, a Research Fellow at the University of Leeds, said:

“This exciting study shows increasing evidence that gas transmitters play an important role as signal transduction molecules in the regulation of the underlying physiological processes of Alzheimer’s disease.

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