Role of the Brain Water Channel Aquaporin-4 in Development and Epilepsy
University of Adelaide
Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation
Professor Andrea Yool
Epilepsy results from excessive electrical activity in the brain, causing seizures and damage to sensitive nerve cells, and is a significant health concern in children. The support cells of the brain (astroglia) outnumber the neurons, but their roles in neurological diseases remain understudied. A water-conducting channel (Aquaporin-4) found specifically in astroglia is essential for fluid regulation. We propose that water channel function directly affects the risk of epileptic seizure activity. With new Aquaporin drugs developed in our laboratory, we will test the consequences of Aquaporin-4 blockade, and the benefit of stimulating water channel activity as a potential therapeutic treatment.