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Optogenetic gene therapy to treat focal neocortical epilepsy  

Rat studies suggest optogenetic gene therapy could help treat focal neocortical epilepsy. In a rat model of focal neocortical epilepsy, a lentivirus vector was used to express a photoactivated inhibitory chloride pump in the motor cortex. Photoactivation of the modified cortical neurons decreased epileptiform electroencephalographic activity compared with unactivated control neurons. Next steps could include developing nonlentivirus vectors to deliver genes that encode inhibitory ion channels or pumps to neurons.

SciBX 5(47); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1245
Published online Dec. 6, 2012

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Wykes, R.C. et al. Sci. Transl. Med.; published online Nov. 12, 2012;
Contact: Dimitri M. Kullmann, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, U.K.
Contact: Stephanie Schorge, same affiliation as above
Contact: Matthew C. Walker,
same affiliation as above