NEW ORLEANS - There's a breakthrough discovery in the treatment of epilepsy and seizures. 

Currently there is no cure for epilepsy. All we have are medications that block the symptoms, or seizures.
Now for the first time, a chemical compound has been developed that may prevent epilepsy from developing, and prevent seizures.

At the LSU Neuroscience Center, in the lab of Dr. Nicolas Bazan, a team of researchers he led, worked for nearly two years in the lab and discovered what they call LAU compounds. When they injected the non-toxic compound into mice with epilepsy, it changed the damaged brain cells that had both abnormal structure and function, back to normal, and that limited seizures. The protection from seizures was still there 100 days later.

"This could open the doors to the development of an effective medication, disease modifying therapy, not only in epilepsy in general, but perhaps also in helping patients in tumors for example. The neurosurgery will remove the tumor but the seizures continue," said Dr. Nicolas Bazan, Director of the LSU Health New Orleans’ Neuroscience Center of Excellence.

This is not ready for human clinical trials. What's next is for LSU Health Sciences Center to team up with a pharmaceutical company for testing and development of a medicine for people.

The research was published Friday online in Scientific Reports, a Nature journal.

The research team also included Drs. Alberto Muso, Surijyadipta Bhattacharjee, Ludmila Belayev and William Gordon from LSU Health New Orleans’ Neuroscience Center of Excellence, Robert Rosencrans, Chelsey Walker, as well as and Chittalsinh M. Raulji, from LSU Health New Orleans’ Department of Pediatrics Section of Hematology-Oncology, along with Zhide Fang, from the Biostatistics Program at LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health.

The research was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.