Neurology Central

High-grade gliomas may hijack signals from neurons to drive their own growth

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For the first time, researchers at Stanford University (CA, USA) have demonstrated that high-grade gliomas might integrate into the brain’s wiring.

According to the team, high-grade gliomas form synapses that hijack electrical signals from healthy nerve cells to drive their own growth. In addition to this, interrupting these signals with an existing anti-epilepsy drug was demonstrated to greatly reduce the cancers’ growth in human tumors in mice. These findings have been published in Nature.

How do high-grade gliomas hijack nerve cells?

Within the study, the investigators determined that high-grade gliomas form synapses with healthy neurons, which can enable electrical signals to be transmitted to the cancerous tissue. The tumors were also reported to contain gap junctions. Together, these connections would allow electrical signals from healthy neurons to be conducted into and amplified within the tumors.

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