Developmental Neurogenetics Laboratory

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New epilepsy research at Baylor College of Medicine provides insight on absence seizures July 18, 2018
Absence epilepsy is the most common type of seizure disorder in children and is the focus of a new neurology study at Baylor College of Medicine and published in the journal Nature Communications.
Absence epilepsy – when the brain is like 'an orchestra without a conductor' June 19, 2018
This contribution to the field of epilepsy has opened a window into the cellular events that occur in the brain during absence seizures.
How infrequent seizures may lead to persistent memory loss in Alzheimer's disease Jan. 10, 2018
Even relatively infrequent seizures can lead to long-lasting cognitive deficits in animal models of Alzheimer's disease; how this happens, however…


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Baylor researchers recognized with prestigious AAAS honor Nov. 20, 2017
Dr. Philip J. Hastings and Dr. Jeffrey L. Noebels have been named 2017 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Book Release – Epilepsy: The Biology of a Spectrum Disorder May 25, 2017
Epilepsy is due to abnormal signaling of neurons in the brain that can cause seizures. It is a common condition, affecting at least 3% of individuals at some point during their life.
Could THIS be causing Alzheimer's disease? Breakthrough finding COULD lead to new cure May 3, 2017
Alzheimer's disease, the most common for of dementia, could be triggered by silent seizures - a breakthrough which could lead to new treatment for millions of patients suffering with the condition.
'Silent' seizures detected in Alzheimer's patients May 3, 2017
The discovery of 'silent seizures' in Alzheimer's patients opens up new avenues to treat the debilitating disease affecting one in 10 people over 65.
New look for Blue Bird Circle Developmental Neurogenetics Lab May 2, 2017
Things might look a bit different at the Blue Bird Circle Developmental Neurogenetics Laboratory located at Baylor College of Medicine, but the work to understand epilepsy and its causes is still…
'Silent seizures' are the first sign of Alzheimer's - and could help doctors catch the disease years in advance May 2, 2017
Doctors at the Baylor College of Medicine say they were able to observe the dysfunctional patterns in two patients - after mouse models - and that normal brain scans would not be able to detect them.
Alzheimer's disease: Doctors detect 'silent seizures' that mark onset May 1, 2017
Doctors have detected "silent seizures" that mark the onset of Alzheimer's disease in a breakthrough study that could lead to new treatments for millions of patients.
'Silent seizures' found in patients with Alzheimer's disease May 1, 2017
Discovery of 'Silent seizures' provides a better understanding of Alzheimer's disease and can potentially lead to new treatments.
Vital links between brain tumors, epileptic seizures found Feb. 7, 2017
Research suggests detecting brain tumors at the earliest possible stage and eliminating them before seizures begin might be possible one day.
Bipolar disorder and epilepsy linked to turning down an inhibitory switch in brain circuits Jan. 3, 2017
Researchers have shown a link between epilepsy and how a gene associated with bipolar disorder controls the balance between brain excitation and inhibition.
Leaky calcium triggers brainstem blackout that results in sudden cardiac death Aug. 1, 2016
Researchers report how a mutation in a gene involved in the regulation of calcium inside brain cells can help trigger blackouts of the brainstem, increasing the risk of sudden unexpected death.
Depolarizing wave may trigger sudden death in epilepsy April 8, 2015
A slow, depolarizing electrical wave — sometimes called a "brain tsunami" — may be the hidden cause of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, a disorder that kills as many as 4,000 people in the United States each year.
Sudden death in epilepsy: Researchers finger possible cause April 8, 2015
Study blames brain stem shutdown following seizure.
Baylor center seeks to understand deadly outcome in epilepsy Feb. 23, 2015
A consortium of researchers, including groups from Baylor College of Medicine, will receive $5.9 million from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health, to support collaborative work on increasing the understanding of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).
NIH funds research into sudden unexpected deaths in epilepsy Dec. 18, 2014
The 'Center Without Walls' project gets $5.9 million toward research into genetic and other possible causes of sudden unexpected death from epilepsy.
Baylor researchers join 'Centers Without Walls' to study sudden unexpected death in epilepsy Dec. 8, 2014
Baylor College of Medicine part of research consortium to receive $5.9 million from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to support understanding of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy.
Emerging biomarkers of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) Oct. 30, 2014
A network of investigators are working to better understand clinical and genetic risk factors of SUDEP.
Scripps Florida scientists pinpoint how genetic mutation causes early brain damage June 18, 2014
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have shed light on how a specific kind of genetic mutation can cause damage during early brain development that results in lifelong learning and behavioral disabilities.
Neonatal dose of estrogen may prevent catastrophic epilepsy March 3, 2014
Some children are born with a devastating form of childhood epilepsy called infantile spasms that cause a life of severe seizures and lifelong disability. In a study that appears in the journal Science Translational Medicine, Dr. Jeffrey Noebels, professor of neurology, neuroscience and molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine,…
Neonatal dose of estrogen may prevent catastrophic epilepsy Jan. 23, 2014
Research at Baylor finds small estrogen dose could help treat infantile spasms syndrome, potentially prevent catastrophic seizures later in life.
Five DeBakey Excellence in Research Award winners showcase breadth of Baylor College of Medicine research July 12, 2013
Five scientists whose recent research demonstrates the breadth and depth of basic science at Baylor College of Medicine received the 2013 Michael E. DeBakey Excellence in Research Award, named in honor of the College's first president.
One protein fits all? Non-AD epilepsy models thrive sans tau Jan. 25, 2013
Having less tau calms overactive neuronal networks and curbs cognitive impairment in mouse models of Alzheimer?s disease. Now, a study in the January 23 Journal of Neuroscience extends the benefits of reducing the protein to mouse and fly epilepsy models whose Αβ levels and cognition are normal.
Less tau reduces seizures and sudden death in severe epilepsy Jan. 23, 2013
Link between epilepsy, some forms of Alzheimer's disease led to the finding that could lead to new drugs for seizure disorders.
Book Release – Jasper's Basic Mechanisms of the Epilepsies, 4th Edition June 29, 2012
This book, considered the 'bible' of basic epilepsy research, is essential for the student, the clinician scientist and all research scientists who conduct laboratory-based experimental epilepsy research using cellular, brain slice and animal models, as well as…
Epilepsy becomes focus for Baylor College of Medicine donor April 24, 2012
Giving thanks for meaningful gifts from the Office of Development at Baylor College of Medicine.
Deep brain stimulation boosts memory Feb. 9, 2012
A new study suggests that driving electricity deep into the brain can boost memory, shedding light on a mysterious neurological process and opening the door for…
Deep brain stimulation boosts memory Feb. 8, 2012
Driving electricity deep into the brain can improve memory, a new study found.
NIH grant awarded to BCM to study sudden death in epilepsy Oct. 24, 2011
Experts at BCM and the Universities of California, Michigan, Iowa, and Northwestern University in Chicago will take part in the study.
Sequencing study shows gene pattern may be more important in epilepsy Aug. 15, 2011
BCM researchers began the first large-scale sequencing project to survey nearly all the genes encoding ion channels, the electrical 'pixels' of the brain.
Oyster Creek Rotary donates to Baylor College of Medicine's epilepsy research June 29, 2011
The Oyster Creek Rotary Club of Fort Bend County recently donated $1,000 to Baylor College of Medicine for epilepsy research.
Scientists hopeful of disease breakthroughs with world's first computerised brain map April 18, 2011
Researchers spent a staggering four years piecing together minute details from brain tissue including the location of millions of genes.
Atlas gives scientists new view of the brain April 13, 2011
The online atlas documents the interplay between brain structure and biochemistry, charting genes at work throughout the human brain.
Unzipping zinc protects hippocampal neurons Jan. 5, 2011
Discovery paves way for development of neuroprotective medicine for seizure, stroke, brain trauma and more.
'Goldrush' breakthrough for Alzheimer's and 130 illnesses Dec. 20, 2010
The breakthrough could greatly speed the development of new drugs for degenerative and psychiatric illnesses, as well as allowing better diagnosis.
Brain control Oct. 27, 2010
Ed Boyden is learning how to alter behavior by using light to turn neurons on and off.
Blocking potassium channel in mice brains causes seizures July 30, 2010
BCM researchers find blocking potassium ion channel in mice can cause seizure that mimics human epilepsy.
Unmasking silent killer in epilepsy July 26, 2010
Sudep, for sudden unexplained death in epilepsy, accounts for up to 18 percent of all epilepsy deaths , yet many patients and their families never hear about it until someone dies.
Defective protein switch in brain causes sudden death in epilepsy, heart rhythm problems May 15, 2010
The link is a protein switch in the brain. It is associated with the most common forms of epilepsy or seizure disorder, and researchers from Baylor College of Medicine now think it causes heart rhythm disturbances and even sudden unexplained death in epilepsy.
Second gene implicated in sudden death in epilepsy May 6, 2010
Researchers are reporting a second candidate gene for sudden death in epilepsy, a finding they say may lead to genetic and overall risk screening in patients with epilepsy.
Seizure Death: Test may be key to preventing SUDEP April 14, 2010
Baylor researchers have identified a second gene associated with Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy
Second gene associated with sudden death in epilepsy found in brain, not heart April 13, 2010
Protein switch in the brain linked to common form of epilepsy may also cause heart rhythm disturbances.
Noebels appointed to endowed chair Jan. 28, 2010
Dr. Noebels has been appointed to the Cullen Trust for Health Care Endowed Chair by Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees.
BCM tackles Alzheimer's on all fronts: Interdepartmental Research Jan. 6, 2010
BCM researchers are focused on defeating Alzheimer's.
Book Release – Genetics of Epilepsy and Genetic Epilepsies Nov. 23, 2009
This volume provides updated information on epilepsy genes, on the clinical picture of genetic epilepsies discovered so far, and on conceptual advances in the complicated area of genotype-phenotype correlations.
'Molecular trigger' for sudden death in epilepsy found Oct. 15, 2009
The most common gene for a syndrome associated with abnormal heart rhythms and sudden death triggers epileptic seizures and could explain sudden unexplained death in epilepsy, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears today in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
Catastrophic epilepsy caused by defect in one gene July 9, 2009
A mutation in a single gene causes catastrophic epilepsy, U.S. scientists say. And that finding, they say, could lead to treatments or a cure for the disorder. People with catastrophic epilepsy suffer severe muscle spasms, persistent…
Single gene mutation responsible for catastrophic epilepsy July 8, 2009
The BCM Department of Neurology team replicated the defect in mice, developing a mouse model of the disease that could help researchers figure out effective treatments for and new approaches to curing the disease.
Special 'epilepsy' mouse may provide new answers in disease June 15, 2009
Screening drugs that work against defects in the tiny pores or channels that allow calcium to flow in and out cells is already easier because of a specially bred mouse that has the "pure" form of absence seizures (brief lapses in consciousness) usually seen in children…
Sodium ions findings connect epilepsy and diabetes May 15, 2009
The flow of sodium ions (charged particles of sodium) in and out of cells is controlled by tiny pores or channels. The operation of these pores is particularly critical in brain cells.
Students receive HHMI fellowships to prepare for potential research careers May 13, 2009
Five Baylor College of Medicine medical students have been accepted into the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Training Fellowships Program that will make it possible for them to work in the laboratory of their choice for one year.
Sodium channel connects epilepsy, diabetes March 3, 2009
Tiny pore or channel that governs the flow of sodium ions in and out of a brain cell where it can trigger nervous impulses and seizures also plays a pivotal role in the release of insulin and glucagon…
Mouse model provides clue to form of childhood epilepsy Feb. 13, 2009
Mice bred to produce too much of a protein associated with a particular form of calcium channel gene experience a "pure" form of absence seizures, identified by brief lapses in consciousness…
Alzheimer's patients may suffer 'silent' seizures March 23, 2008
Scientists say mice genetically altered to develop an Alzheimer's-like illness undergo 'silent' brain seizures. According to researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine and the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, the…
Two genetic mutations might provide seizure protection Dec. 15, 2007
Two wrongs can make a right—at least in the genetics of the brain, said a Baylor College of Medicine researcher in a recent report in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
Epilepsy genes may cancel each other Nov. 4, 2007
Inheriting two genetic mutations that can individually cause epilepsy might actually be "seizure-protective," said Baylor College of Medicine researchers in a report that appears in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
'Silent seizures' could explain confusion in Alzheimer's Oct. 15, 2007
Waxing and waning periods of confusion, characteristic of people with Alzheimer's disease, have long puzzled physicians who treat patients with the disease.
'Silent' seizures behind 'spells' of increased confusion in Alzheimer's patients Sept. 7, 2007
A new study has found that mice genetically engineered to have Alzheimer's disease suffer silent seizures which may occur due to cellular changes.
Mice with Alzheimer's disease suffer silent seizures Sept. 5, 2007
Mice genetically engineered to have a disease like Alzheimer's have "silent" seizures that appear related to cellular changes involving the excess accumulations of the protein amyloid beta…
Epilepsy: Seeking the cause of a lonely disease April 15, 2005
When the woman at the computer terminal burst into tears, she flabbergasted Dr. Jeffrey Noebels. As the first person to enter information into a database of families affected by epilepsy, she had seemed excited about the prospect.
Looking for epilepsy answer Oct. 15, 2004
Tapping into the brain's electrical impulse signals may soon reveal why neurological functions short-circuit in cases of epilepsy, say researchers at Baylor College of Medicine.
Genetic research project to speed cures for epilepsy Sept. 1, 2004
Tapping into the brain's electrical impulse signals may soon reveal why neurological functions short-circuit in cases of epilepsy, say researchers at Baylor College of Medicine.
Research on epilepsy: Damage control April 15, 2003
As a physician-scientist specializing in epilepsy, Jeffrey Noebels, MD, PhD, sees the profound effect the disease has on his patients daily lives, from preventing them from holding down jobs to simply driving down the block.
Noebels elected president of American Epilepsy Society Feb. 15, 2003
Jeffrey L. Noebels, professor of neurology, neuroscience, and molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, has been elected president of the American Epilepsy Society for 2003. Noebels is director of the Blue Bird Circle Developmental Neurogenetics Laboratory at The Methodist Hospital.
Two gene discoveries help explain the misfires of epilepsy in the brain Dec. 30, 1997
The discovery of two new human genes that cause a form of epilepsy is expected to throw light on the nature of the disease as well as on the general principles by which the brain operates.
Gene study finds link to type of epilepsy in surprising place March 22, 1996
Researchers say they have identified a gene responsible for a form of epilepsy, a finding that surprised scientists and pointed them in a new direction in efforts to understand other types of the disease.
Book Release – Brain Development and Epilepsy April 27, 1995
This integrated volume applies the emerging concepts in developmental neurobiology to an understanding of the origins of the epilepsies of childhood.
Book Release – Problems and Concepts in Developmental Neurophysiology July 1, 1989
Fifteen contributions illustrate basic principles, concepts and methodologies of developmental neurophysiology of the mammalian central nervous system, providing an introduction for investigators and clinicians who require an essential knowledge of the ontogeny of the brain.