Cerebrum Podcast #1: A New Approach for Epilepsy – With Ray Dingledine and Bjørnar Hassel
In their May Cerebrum article, “A New Approach for Epilepsy,” Ray Dingledine, Ph.D., and Bjørnar Hassel, M.D., Ph.D.—longtime research collaborators—focus on a new study may very well initiate a shift to new therapeutic approaches for one-third of the 65 million people worldwide affected by epilepsy and who are treatment-resistant. They provide an overview of the disorder and the evolution of drug development, and discuss the pros and cons of a high-fat diet that is capable of alleviating symptoms in young children. Dingledine is professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology at Emory University School of Medicine, serves on the scientific advisory board of the Epilepsy Project, and chairs the investment committee of the Society for Neuroscience. Hassel, a neurologist and a biochemist, is professor and senior consultant at the University of Oslo, Department of Neurohabilitation.
Seizing an OpportunityBroader Definitions of Epilepsy May Lead to Better Treatments
There is not just one type of epilepsy. While some forms of the disease are characterized by convulsive seizures, others involve seizures that are barely noticeable. Normal variations in hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone, can influence brain activity and therefore influence seizures. By considering the powerful interactions between the brain and the endocrine system, this influence of hormones on seizures can be understood and new treatment options can be considered.