Myocardial Ion Channel Remodeling: A Candidate Mechanism For Sudden Death In Epilepsy
Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is the most common cause of mortality in individuals with epilepsy. This study hypothesizes that cardiac ion channels may be affected by primary genetic or acquired alterations associated with epilepsy, which represent candidate mechanisms in SUDEP. Cardiac ion channel alterations due to either of these mechanisms would predispose the heart to arrhythmia, which is a risk factor for sudden death. The studies will be performed as an interdisciplinary collaboration between Dr. Anderson, an epilepsy researcher, and Dr. Vatta, a cardiovascular researcher with expertise in myocardial remodeling and channelopathies. The interdisciplinary approach between the fields of epilepsy and cardiovascular sciences represents a novel and unprecedented opportunity in the field of epilepsy research and specifically in the area of SUDEP.