Finding that Single microRNA Powers Motor Activity has Implications for Treating Severe Treatment-Refractory Epilepsy

 – December 9, 2013  –– 

New research from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai shows that microRNA-128 is one of the strongest regulators of nerve cell excitability and motor activity, and that it does so by adjusting an entire neuronal signaling pathway. Published online in the journal Science, the preclinical study suggests that developing new drugs for treatment-refractory epilepsy that target the microRNA signaling pathway might prove beneficial for patients with severe epilepsy, including the epilepsy of infancy. MicroRNAs are non-coding RNAs that regulate the translation or degradation of messenger RNA, the essential building blocks for proteins in the cell. "This is the first time that it has been shown that a single microRNA could control complex functions in the adult brain,” said Anne Schaefer, MD, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

-Dr. Anne Schaefer, Assistant Professor, Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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