|The Future of Medicine Through Bioengineering - Ayden Jacob|
"Both too much and too little water in the brain can be life-threatening. Water transport is essential to sustain brain volume and function because it affects the concentration of signal molecules in the brain," explains Dr. Francesca Ciccolini, who leads a research group at the Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences. "The GABAA receptors are extremely important in medicine in their biological function as inhibitory regulators of neuronal activity," explains Francesca Ciccolini. "Modulators of GABAA receptors are commonly used as medications in a broad spectrum of medical treatments, for example to induce sedation and muscle relaxation, to prevent seizures, to reduce anxiety and to counteract symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Hence our results also point to the risk of therapies that involve the use of GABAA receptor modulators and thus have potential side effects on the basic regulation of water exchange within the brain." . "Our findings offer up new possibilities for regulating the water content in the human brain," explains Ciccolini.