Catalyst Award

Confirmation of Plasma Biomarkers that Predict Seizure Control in People with Newly Diagnosed Focal Epilepsy

John Gledhill, PhD
Cognizance Biomarkers, LLC

Newly diagnosed people with epilepsy face devastating uncertainty complicating decisions about relationships, pregnancy, education, work, and play. The treatment of focal epilepsy is inefficient and often involves months to years of trying anti-seizure medication before seizures are controlled or other options, such as surgery, are explored. To aid doctors in efficiently matching treatment options to patients, Dr. Gledhill’s team proposes to create a blood test to predict if typical drug treatments will work to control seizures for people with a recent epilepsy diagnosis. The team will build upon their preliminary research showing that people with treatment-resistant epilepsy have differences in inflammation-associated proteins in the blood compared with those who do respond to treatment. For this project, the team proposes to develop an algorithm to predict response to initial anti-seizure medications using a blood test. If successful, this study would provide doctors the ability to predict whether typical treatments for newly diagnosed patients will work, rather than going through a wait-and-see process which could result in getting to potentially effective treatments faster.