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AES 2022 | The promise of targeting microglia in epilepsy management

New data have implicated microglial surveillance in the regulation of neuronal activity: animal models with impaired microglial Gi signaling showed spontaneous seizures upon evoked neuronal activity. The role of microglia in mediating hyperexcitability has implications in neurological diseases in which microglia motility is impaired, including epilepsy. Katerina Akassoglou, PhD, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, discusses the promise of targeting microglia in epilepsy management. Given the wide-ranging roles of microglia in health and disease, both protective and detrimental, developing ways to target them in a selective manner is of great importance. One such approach is to target pathogenic upstream activators. For example, blocking the inflammatory domain of fibrin that activates microglia has been shown to prevent inflammatory activation without impacting the beneficial activities of either fibrin or microglia. An alternative approach is to target selective intracellular pathways. Single cell studies are working to identify neurotoxic pathways in microglia that could be targeted with small molecules. This interview took place at the American Epilepsy Society (AES) Annual Meeting 2022 in Nashville, TN.

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