Taking Flight Award

Molecular Mechanisms Of Epilepsy-Causing Mutations In The IKM Channel: Anti-Epileptic Effect Of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs) Variants Rene Barro Soria, Phd

Rene Barro Soria, PhD
University of Miami

Epilepsy is characterized by abnormal neuronal activity in the brain. Mutations in the potassium channel regulating the excitability of neurons, the IKM channel, have been causally linked to some epilepsies. How mutations of IKM channels (channelopathies) cause epilepsy remains unknown. At present, available anti-epileptic drugs fail to control more than 30% of patients suffering from epilepsy. Therefore, there is a need to understand the molecular basis of the disease to create strategies to develop new anti-epileptic drugs. The goals of the present research project are a) to define the molecular basis of voltage activation of IKM channels, to understand the mechanisms by which epilepsy causing mutations affect IKM channels function and b) to design new drugs for the treatment of these IKM channelopathies. In the future, tailoring antiepileptic therapies to specific mutations will greatly improve the clinical outcome of treatments for each patient.


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