Study: Theta rhythm reduces seizure rate

June 20, 2006

Texas scientists say the brain's septum helps stop epileptic seizures by inducing electrical activity in another area of the brain called the hippocampus.

Researchers at the University of Texas-Brownsville found that imposing a normal "theta" rhythm on epileptic rats reduced the rate of seizures by 86 percent to 97 percent.

The septum acts as a conductor, orchestrating brain impulses as they pass from the brain stem through the septum and on to the hippocampus, said the study's lead researcher, Luis Colom. The hippocampus is a part of the brain that plays a role in memory, spatial navigation and sensory motor integration, among other functions.

"My hypothesis is that the septum keeps the electrical activity of neurons within certain areas of the brain working within normal ranges," Colom said. "By keeping the neurons firing normally, the septum inhibits neuronal hyperexcitability, such as epilepsy, and hypoexcitablity, such as Alzheimer's disease." In addition, he said, septal impulses may help to maintain the anatomical integrity of other brain structures.

The research appears in the June issue of the Journal of Neurophysiology.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: How do adult brain circuits regulate new neuron production?

Related Stories

How do adult brain circuits regulate new neuron production?

November 2, 2017
Before we are born, the developing brain creates an incredible number of neurons, which migrate to specific parts of the brain to ready us for life. Contrary to popular belief, genesis of new neurons does not stop at birth ...

Scientists reveal complexity in the brain's wiring diagram

September 4, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—When Joanna Mattis started her doctoral project she expected to map how two regions of the brain connect. Instead, she got a surprise. It turns out the wiring diagram shifts depending on how you flip the ...

Origins of 'rage' identified in brain in male animal model

February 11, 2016
Violent, unprovoked outbursts in male mice have been linked to changes in a brain structure tied to the control of anxiety and fear, according to a report by researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center to be published in ...

Researchers find speedometer in the brain

June 3, 2015
Researchers in Bonn have identified neural circuits in the brains of mice that are pivotal for movement and navigation in space. These nerve cells that are presumed to exist in a similar form in humans, give the start signal ...

Control of fear in the brain decoded

September 6, 2011
When healthy people are faced with threatening situations, they react with a suitable behavioural response and do not descend into a state of either panic or indifference, as is the case, for example, with patients who suffer ...

Theta oscillations coordinate navigation and movement

October 13, 2015
Using light pulses, Berlin scientists have recently managed to control theta oscillations in mouse brain. They discovered that these brain waves coordinate movement - enabling signaling between distant brain regions – a ...

Recommended for you

Researchers develop test that can diagnose two cancer types

December 12, 2017
A blood test using infrared spectroscopy can be used to diagnose two types of cancer, lymphoma and melanoma, according to a study led by Georgia State University.

Estrogen discovery could shed new light on fertility problems

December 12, 2017
Estrogen produced in the brain is necessary for ovulation in monkeys, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who have upended the traditional understanding of the hormonal cascade that leads to release ...

Discovery deepens understanding of brain's sensory circuitry

December 12, 2017
Because they provide an exemplary physiological model of how the mammalian brain receives sensory information, neural structures called "mouse whisker barrels" have been the subject of study by neuroscientists around the ...

Drug blocks Zika, other mosquito-borne viruses in cell cultures

December 12, 2017
If there was a Mafia crime family of the virus world, it might be flaviviruses.

The immune cells that help tumors instead of destroying them

December 12, 2017
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-associated deaths. One of the most promising ways to treat it is by immunotherapy, a strategy that turns the patient's immune system against the tumor. In the past twenty years, ...

Postmenopausal women should still steer clear of HRT: task force

December 12, 2017
(HealthDay)—Yet again, the nation's leading authority on preventive medicine says postmenopausal women should avoid hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.