According to a recent press release, neuropharmaceutical company NeurAegis Inc. shared the publication of some study data which explored calpain-2 as a potential therapeutic target for status epilepticus (SE). The study findings, published in Neurobiology of Disease, discuss how researchers discovered this therapeutic target. In their study, researchers used mice models of SE. Their publication describes why they chose to inhibit calpain-2 to prevent some of the neurodegeneration and inflammation caused by frequent epileptic episodes.
In an unrelated study published in Trends in Neuroscience, authors Michel Baudry and Xiaoning Bi explain that our brains have two main calpain isoforms in the brain: calpain-1 and calpain-2. They later explain the differences between these two, sharing that:
Calpain-1 activation is required for the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) and is generally neuroprotective, while calpain-2 activation limits the extent of potentiation and is neurodegenerative.
In the NeurAegis study, performed in the Baudry Lab at Western University of Health Sciences, researchers deleted or inhibited calpain-2 in mice models of SE. Some study findings share that:
• Calpain-2 is activated up to 7 days after [induced] seizures in mice.
• Calpain-2 deletion [and inhibition] prevents seizure-induced neurodegeneration and brain inflammation.
Further, deleting or inhibiting calpain-2 prevented cognitive impairment and other issues. Thus, calpain-2 represents a promising therapeutic target moving forward.
Status Epilepticus (SE)
Status epilepticus (SE) is a rare and potentially fatal medical emergency which occurs when a non-stop seizure lasts for at least five minutes or more. Additionally, SE may also occur if someone has more than one seizure over a 5+ minute period with no full consciousness regained in between seizures. While most patients with epilepsy do not experience, SE, a history of epilepsy, certain infections, or brain trauma can increase the risk. Typically, SE impacts young children or the elderly. Without treatment, SE can result in permanent injury or death. SE causes an estimated 55,000 American deaths each year.
Following SE, doctors may treat a patient with glucose, oxygen, lorazepam, diazepam, phenobarbital, valproate, or fosphenytoin.
Symptoms of SE include, but are not limited to:
- Muscle spasms and jerking
- Inability to speak
- Loss of consciousness
- Clenched jaw
- Irregular breathing
- Uncommon or unusual noises, such as grunting or moaning
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
Learn more about status epilepticus.