2016

CURE Epilepsy Award

Genetic Influences On Epileptogenesis And Biosusceptibility To Post-Traumatic Epilepsy

Amy Wagner, MD
University of Pittsburgh
 

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an ongoing public health challenge, and post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) negatively impacts the recovery of individuals already coping with TBI and its comorbidities. PTE accounts for 20% of those with symptomatic seizures and 5% of those with any seizure in the general population. Despite these numbers, there are no accepted means of identifying who is at risk for developing PTE following injury. Dr. Wagner’s team plans to conduct studies that will have a transformative impact on treatment and prevention of PTE for individuals with both civilian and military TBI. They are partnering with the principal investigator of the Vietnam Veterans Head Injury Study (VHIS) to evaluate currently identified genetic variants in the form of a “gene risk score” (GRS) that will help quantify how genetics influence PTE risk. The GRS can be used to help identify who is at greatest risk for PTE and it can be used in partnership with clinical treatment studies to evaluate how personal genetics might influence treatment response and PTE prevention measures.

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