Better Medicine for Serious Ailments

Scientists have discovered a crucial element in a cellular process that could help develop a new class of drugs for treating epilepsy, heart disease and cancer.

Researchers from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, found that T-type channels can shift the way they generate electrical signals to cells.

The rhythmic signals produced by a normal action of this process support the contraction of heart muscles as well as “firing” in parts of the brain

The researchers found that a shield-like “turret” positioned above the T-type channels restricts the action of therapeutic drugs. Dismantling the turret, they said, could eliminate the malfunctioning of the cellular process and lead to more effective treatment for heart disease, cancer and epilepsy.

The findings were published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

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