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Venom from a Redtail Coral Snake may help treat epilepsy

The venom of one Costa Rican snake (a redtail coral snake) may be useful in the study of epilepsy and may even contribute to creating a drug that can control the disease.

coral snakeThis was originally explained in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The toxins in the venom create a nervous system reaction not understood before.

In animal tests the toxins were shown to disrupt communication between neurons causing shorts.

If scientists can reverse this effect, they may be able to rehabilitate the neuronal interaction in patients with epilepsy. Researchers from all over the world are working on this.

This one particular type of coral snake doesn’t have the negative effects on one’s breathing as other corals do.

Research is being focused around the GABA receptors because their failure results in seizures.

The toxin in the venom binds tightly and enhances the GABA actions. With a small dose the neuron is inhibited.

Reposted from Costa Rican Times

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