Taking Flight Award

Expansion of the Focal Epileptic Network: Identifying Predictors and Therapeutic Targets

Jennifer Gelinas, MD, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center

Focal epilepsy is an unpredictable disease – some patients experience worsening seizures and new seizure types, whereas others have a relatively stable disease course. This variability makes it difficult to accurately predict the progression of the disease and limits the ability to treat these individuals.

Dr. Gelinas and her team will leverage new technology to acquire high-resolution “maps” of neural networks in animals with progressive focal epilepsy. This work will identify the patterns of neuronal activity associated with the spread of epilepsy from one brain area to another and will allow for the subsequent investigation of similar patterns in brain activity in patients with epilepsy. Together, these studies will aid in the identification of brain regions that are at risk of becoming epileptic, providing targets for novel therapeutics that could prevent deterioration in seizure control and other epilepsy-related difficulties.


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