As a part of Epilepsy Awareness Month, I would like to share an interesting article I found:
Neurotransmitters, or NTs, are chemicals that neurons synthesize and release, which bind to receptors on adjacent neurons. Excitatory NTs like glutamate will activate neurons (i.e. cause them to “fire”), whereas inhibitory NTs like GABA will prevent neurons from firing. That’s essentially how neurons communicate with each other. If there is too much glutamate, then there will be over-excitation throughout the brain, causing a seizure. The same thing presumably could happen if there is not enough GABA to inhibit neural firing. That’s what the article mentions- the enzyme MMP degrades GABA-ergic neuronal nets, predisposing the epilepsy patient to seizures
According to the article, they are looking into using an enzyme inhibitor to shut off the enzyme that interferes with GABA, but they haven’t found anything specific yet. The article really means that they have an idea of the kind of chemical to research as a possible treatment, not necessarily that they’ve actually found a treatment.
But, just discovering this is a giant step towards finding a cure!
P.S: Thank you Cobi for explaining this to me!