Atomic-level study reveals why rare disorder causes sudden paralysis

(University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine) A rare genetic disorder in which people are suddenly overcome with profound weakness or temporary paralysis is caused by a hole in a membrane protein that allows sodium ions to leak across cell membranes. The results of a new study reveal the mechanisms of periodic paralysis at the atomic level and suggest designs for drugs that may prevent this ion leak and provide relief to these patients

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