Taking Flight Award

Mitochondria Function as a Target in Post-Traumatic Epilepsy

Gerben van Hameren, PhD
Dalhousie University

Traumatic brain injury can increase the risk of developing epilepsy, but how this may occur is poorly understood. An electrical wave of activity in the brain, known as spreading depolarization, can occur within minutes of a head impact, causing cellular damage and potentially increasing the production of damaging reactive oxygen species or ROS from the mitochondria within cells. Dr. van Hameren will study the damage to mitochondria caused by spreading depolarization and whether blocking this damage with a drug can prevent the development of post-traumatic epilepsy.