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Discoveries in neuroscience

the cause of epilepsy and seizures. Scientists suspect that a Cx36 mutation causes these common neurological conditions, which occur when the messages swapped between synapses get scrambled. Meanwhile, a Cx50 mutation can form cataracts in mice.

"Electrical synapses were only discovered in the neocortex of mammals five years ago," Connors said, "so they are still a mystery. What do they control? How? When? These are big questions in neuroscience and this drug will help us answer some of them."

Conducted with scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and funded by the National Institutes of Health, the research offered up an intriguing secondary finding.

In rare cases, mefloquine can cause anxiety, panic attacks, depression and other psychotic side effects. Doctors have never understood why. Connors and Cruikshank said their research may hold the answer: Connexin shut-down in the brain.


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Contact: Wendy Lawton
Wendy_Lawton@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
6-Aug-2004


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