Urinary excretion of taurine in epilepsy


S.G. Hartley




Neurochem Res


Evidence that taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) is related to the epilepsies is supported by work with both experimental animals and humans. It may function as a neurotransmitter or modulator of neurotransmission. Investigators using an automated amino acid analyzer reported lower mean urinary taurine excretion among epileptics. However, Rao et al. reported higher taurine excretion among epileptics using an older method. Analyses of the same epileptic and control urines by both methods coupled with paper and molecular size chromatography indicate that substances in addition to taurine are co-eluted with taurine using the older method, yielding spuriously high values. The resolution of this disparity is important because the urinary excretion of taurine may reflect primarily the influence of taurine transport alleles which may be polygenic components in the idiopathic epilepsies.