Taking Flight Award

Genetic Prediction Of Drug Response In Childhood Absence Epilepsy

Kenneth Myers, MD, PhD
University of Melbourne/Austin Health

The primary goal of this work is to assess whether the genetics of individuals with a specific seizure disorder, Childhood Absence Epilepsy (CAE), can be used to predict what medication will best control their seizures. They will study genes related to communication between two parts of the brain that are known to be disrupted in CAE. The ultimate goal is to generate data that can be used to design a rapid genetic testing protocol that will help doctors choose a medication for CAE based on an individual’s genetics, taking a step closer to precision medicine. If successful, this project will demonstrate that treatment of a common epilepsy syndrome can be enhanced using genetic testing. For the children with CAE, this will mean faster control of seizures and fewer side effects. This research approach can then be applied to other genetic epilepsy syndromes, and in the long term, should improve the treatment of all people with epilepsy.


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