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Too much zinc could trigger epileptic seizures
A study has shown zinc is critical to communication between neurons in the hippocampus, the brain's learning and memory centre but too much could trigger epileptic seizures.
The findings – from the University Medical Center in North Carolina, based in the United States - were published online in the journal Neuron. Scientists discovered that zinc is found to be essential to control the efficiency between two critical populations of nerve cells in the hippocampus.
Mice were used in the study, with a chemical that binds to zinc removed from circulation in their brains. It showed that without the mineral, communication between neurons was impaired.
Epilepsy Society’s medical director John Duncan commented: “It has been known for a long time that Zinc is an essential trace element (needed in very small amounts) and that a deficiency of this would cause illnesses. This does not mean, however, that large amounts confer additional benefit, and may be harmful.”