NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Free radicals appear to contribute to increased permeability of the blood brain barrier (BBB) that occurs during epileptic seizures, according to results of animal experiments.
Dr. Baria Oztas and colleagues, from the University of Istanbul, assessed the BBB permeability of control rats and those with experimentally-induced seizures. Some of the rats received vitamin E or selenium prior to seizure induction.
The researchers found that BBB permeability was significantly greater in rats with seizures than control animals (p < 0.01). However, rats treated with vitamin E or selenium demonstrated significantly less BBB disruption than untreated rats with seizures (p < 0.05).
The finding that antioxidants attenuate the BBB disruption that occurs during seizures suggests that free radicals play a role in the process, the authors note in the November 15th issue of the Journal of Neuroscience Research. However, the exact mechanisms by which these antioxidants protect the BBB are unknown.