Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Medical Potential Breakthrough in Seizure Control

  1. May 26, 2012 #1

    It's been known for over a century that the ketogenic diet is effective but a lot of parents won't adopt it because it requires complete control of every meal. They opt to try and get their kid into a program at Johns Hopkins where, once accepted, the kid goes to live and his meals are controlled by that program. Space is limited and many are turned away.

    Someone will have to explain to me how they might "manipulate" a protein and what targeting this pathway pharmacologically might entail.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 26, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    One approach: Insert viral vector that will imbed itself in the transcription process
  4. May 26, 2012 #3
    Feasible in humans?
  5. May 26, 2012 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    No idea; I've only done it with C elegans. A quick google reveals there's lots of research in that avenue with clinical trials, but I don't know the context.
  6. May 26, 2012 #5
    O.K. Thanks!
  7. May 27, 2012 #6


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    In the paper the mice were genetic mutants (that's how they manipulated the protein); you'd only want to edit genetic information if you have very good reasons to do so, because of the relative irreversibility of it. There however is a new oncoming revolution that could change the field of genome editing:

    Human gene therapy: Versatile and efficient genome editing in human cells by combining zinc-finger nucleases with adeno-associated viral vectors. Hum Gene Ther. 2012 Mar;23(3):321-9. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

    Nature journal: In vivo genome editing restores haemostasis in a mouse model of haemophilia. Nature. 2011 Jun 26;475(7355):217-21. doi: 10.1038/nature10177.

    With pharmacologically they mean with medication, they could do a small-molecule screen and find out what molecules bind to the protein and which one of those inhibit the function of the protein.
  8. May 29, 2012 #7
    Thanks, Monique. I'm afraid those papers are beyond me. I hope that they are able to develop a med that would take the place of the diet and be just as effective.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook