Evidence is growing for a role for polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in decreasing neuronal and cardiac excitability. This decrease may be a mechanism by which these molecules exert their beneficial effects in terms of cardiac disease and a variety of brain disorders. Lauritzen et al. found that PUFAs prevented hippocampal cell death in vivo due to ischemia or excessive glutamate receptor activation. In vitro data were consistent with PUFAs' activating K+ channels. On the basis of immunocytochemical and electrophysiological analysis, the authors suggest that the TRAAK and TREK-1 K+ channels are responsible for mediating the effects of PUFAs.