This is a continuation of previous posts on individualized treatment for infantile-onset epilepsy, made possible by Emory scientists Stephen Traynelis and Hongjie Yuanâ€™s collaboration with the NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Program. A companion paper containing some clinical details was recently published in Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.
Memantine, which was found to be effective for this particular child, is normally used to treat symptoms of Alzheimerâ€™s disease. He has a mutation in a gene encoding a NMDA receptor, an important signaling molecule in the brain, which hyperactivates the receptor. Treatment with memantine reduced his seizure frequency from 11 per week to three per week, and eliminated one type of seizure, myoclonic jerks. It allowed doctors to taper off conventional anticonvulsant drugs, which were having little effect anyway. His cognitive ability has remained unchanged.
The team also discovered that the compound dextromethorphan, found in many over-the-counter cough medicines, was effective in the laboratory in counteracting the effects of a GRIN2A mutation found in another patient. However, these effects were mutually exclusive, because the molecular effects of the mutations are different; memantine helps L812M, while dextromethorphan helps N615K.
Yuan and Traynelis report they have an Fake Oakleys ongoing collaboration with UDP investigators to analyze the effects of mutations in NMDA receptor genes. That means more intriguing case reports are coming, they say.
Tyler Pierson, MD, PhD, lead author of the clinical paper who is now at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and David Adams, MD, PhD, senior staff clinician at NIH, provided some additional information on the patient in the study, shown here in a Q + A format. Read more