Zalicus could help a lot of kids. Absence seizures reduced 90% by ZLCS z944
Absence seizures, also known as "petit mal seizures," are a symptom of epilepsy, most commonly experienced by children. During such episodes, the person looks awake but dazed. The seizures, arising from a flurry of high-frequency signals put out by the neurons of the thalamus, can be dangerous if they occur while a person is swimming or driving, and can also interrupt learning.
Available medications don't completely control such seizures in many patients. They also cause severe side effects, including sleepiness, blurred vision and diminished motor control.
A Canadian-Australian team, led by neuroscientist Terrance P. Snutch, a Canada Research Chair in the Michael Smith Laboratories at UBC, developed new drugs with a different target -- the flow of calcium into brain cells. Their findings were recently published in Science Translational Medicine.
The new drugs, known as Z941 and Z944, block the flow of calcium ions into those neurons. When given to rats with absence epilepsy, they suppressed seizures by 85 to 90 per cent.
The team, which included collaborators at Zalicus Pharmaceuticals Ltd. of Vancouver and the University of Melbourne, was surprised to find that when seizures did occur, they were also of shorter duration; existing medications don't have any effect on the length of seizures.