According to a study published Friday, pseudo-purine networks were first discovered in 1893 by Italian neurobiologist Camillo Gulgi, but their role was unknown until the team at the Carilion Institute of the University of Virginia State was now complete to regulate electrical impulses in the brain.
When these networks are destroyed, epileptic seizures can occur, as they discovered when they studied the brains of rats with very aggressive brain tumors called glioblastomas.
It is the only cancer that can not spread because it is limited by the skull. Therefore, it is a refuge in large quantities a neurotransmitter called glutamate that kills the surrounding cells to allow the tumor to grow.
Scientists from Virginia Tech have also found that the tumor attacks the networks by the valve, making it difficult to regulate the electrical impulses in the brain, which can then undergo epileptic seizures.
Stephen White, a researcher of epilepsy, said the findings of the team led by biologist Herald Sonntheimer may apply to other forms of acquired epilepsy.
"This study offers a possible way to change the development and progression of epilepsy, which will reduce the disorder to patients," he said.
More than 50 million people worldwide suffer from epilepsy, according to the World Health Organization, about a third of patients do not respond to existing treatments.