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Rasmussens Encephalitis The human immune system is an amazing system that is constantly on the alert protecting us fromsicknesses Thousands of white blood cells travel in our circulatory system destroying all foreignsubstances that could cause harm to our body or to any of the millions of processes going on inside Nowimagine a condition where this awesome system turns against the most complex organ in the human bodythe brain Deadly as it is this condition is known as Rasmussen s encephalitis The meaningful research on Rasmussen s encephalitis was begun unintentionally by Scott Rogersand Lorise Gahring two neurologists who were at the time measuring the distribution of glutamatereceptors in the brain Later on when more provocative information was found they enlisted the help ofJames McNamara and Ian Andrews epilepsy experts at Duke University Medical Center The details on Rasmussen s encephalitis were very bleak at the time when the men began theirresearch All that was known is that Rasmussen s encephalitis was a degenerative disease of the brainthat caused seizures hemiparesis and dementia normally in the first ten years of life The seizures thatwere caused by Rasmussen s encephalitis were unstoppable by normal anti-seizure drugs usedconventionally What the worst part of the disease was that the pathogenesis for it were not known andeven worse was how it developed The first clue was delivered when Rogers and Gahring were trying to register the distribution of theglutamate receptors using antibodies that tag on to the receptor itself The proteins that make up theglutamate receptorsGluR are only found inside the blood brain barrierBBB Glutamate and a fewrelated amino acids are the dominant form of excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system ofmammals If one of these GluRs happens to wander into the actual bloodstream that is
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