CURE Epilepsy Award

Systems Biology-Derived Treatment of Status Epilepticus and Epileptogenesis After Traumatic Brain Injury

Asla Pitkänen, MD, PhD
University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Campus

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of epilepsy in adults. Gene expression is the process a cell uses to produce the molecule it needs by reading the genetic code written in the DNA.

Dr. Pitkänen and her team studied changes in gene expression in brain tissue from an animal model of TBI. They identified potential drug-like compounds that might reverse or prevent these changes. The goal of this project is to assess whether the most promising of these compounds, either alone or in combination with an anti-seizure treatment, will prevent the development of epilepsy in an animal model of post-traumatic epilepsy. As the seizures in the animal model typically occur during sleep, the team will also assess whether alleviation of sleep disturbances will have an anti-epileptogenic effect.