CURE Epilepsy Award

Sleep and Epilepsy Interactions – Uncovering Mechanisms

Nigel Pedersen, MD
Emory University

There is a long-recognized link between epilepsy and sleep-wake states. Many patients have seizures that occur at a specific time of day or in relation to sleep or the daytime.

Dr. Pedersen’s team is studying whether brain regions that control sleep-wake also control seizures. For this project, the team will directly study electrical activity in parts of the brain that control sleep and wakefulness, and brain regions involved in seizures. They will utilize new methods to determine exactly which brain cell types are involved in this strong relationship between sleep-wake and epilepsy. This work will develop open-source tools for further studies by the epilepsy community, helping to uncover new strategies to treat epilepsy and its comorbidities.