Brain Makes Its Own Version of Valium, Stanford University School of Medicine Study

Published: May 31, 2013

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Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that a naturally occurring protein secreted only in discrete areas of the mammalian brain may act as a Valium-like brake on certain types of epileptic seizures. The protein is known as diazepam binding inhibitor, or DBI. It calms the rhythms of a key brain circuit and so could prove valuable in developing novel, less side-effect-prone therapies not only for epilepsy but possibly for anxiety and sleep disorders, too. The researchers’ discoveries were published May 30 in Neuron.

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