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January 1974

Zinc, Taurine, and Epilepsy

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurobiology, Clinical Research Institute of Montreal.

Arch Neurol. 1974;30(1):52-58. doi:10.1001/archneur.1974.00490310054009

Recent experiments from our laboratory and others demonstrate that sodium-potassium-adenosine triphosphatase inhibition, particularly in the hippocampus, is involved in epileptogenicity. Zinc ions can mimic ouabain when injected intraventricularly and can produce epileptic seizures in rats; serum zinc levels in treated epileptics are significantly decreased as compared to age- and sex-matched controls. Taurine, a nonessential amino acid, can decrease seizures in a variety of animal species and is particularly effective against our model of ouabain-induced seizures in rats. Preliminary experiments in human epileptic subjects confirm the anticonvulsive effect of taurine. These results justify controlled therapeutic trials of taurine and detailed biochemical studies of zinc metabolism in human epilepsy.

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