Taking Flight Award

Blood-Brain Barrier Dysregulation as a Driver of Drug-Resistant Epilepsy

Chris Greene, PhD
Trinity College Dublin

The Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) is a network of blood vessels that orchestrates the exchange of material between the blood and the brain to maintain an ideal environment for neural function. Loss of blood-brain barrier integrity has been observed in people with drug-resistant epilepsy; however, how this contributes to drug-resistant epilepsy is unclear.  

For this project, Dr. Greene will explore genetic changes leading to breakdown of blood-brain barrier integrity in a mouse model of drug-resistant epilepsy with the goal of identifying changes that are associated with the development of drug resistance. Additionally, this work will test the therapeutic potential of restoring blood brain barrier integrity in drug-resistant epilepsy and its impacts on seizures and cognition. If successful, this project could lead to better understanding of the genetic mechanisms involved in the breakdown of BBB integrity as well as reveal the potential for restoring BBB integrity for the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy.