Scientists from the Medical University of South Carolina have developed a vitamin K-based compound that can control epileptic seizures caused by malfunctioning mitochondria.
According to Eurek Alert, experiments with rodents showed 100% effectiveness of the new compound.
The compound is bioavailable when taken orally, it can penetrate the brain, is being rapidly distributed in the central nervous system, and is well-tolerated, at least by rodents.
Epilepsy can be caused by mitochondrial dysfunction in brain cells that affects their ability to produce energy.
"Mitochondria produce most of the energy for the cell," a study leader Sherine Chan, Ph.D. noted. "When mitochondria are damaged, cells have a tough time producing sufficient energy. Brain cells require a significant amount of energy, and so mitochondrial dysfunction affects their function. This dysfunction is an underlying cause of many neurological diseases, including epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and rare mitochondrial disorders."
According to the study, treatment with the compound increased the brain cells' ability to produce energy.