2014

Innovator Award

Optogenetic Regulation Of The Transcription Of Epilepsy Genes: An Innovative Strategy To Cure Drug-Resistant Epilepsy

Fabio Benfenati, MD
The Italian Institute of Technology
 

Epilepsy can be caused by a number of environmental and pathological factors. Regardless of the specific cause, however, the ultimate effect is an alteration of the mechanisms that modulate the normal functioning of our brain, which then becomes “hyperexcitable”. We have engineered a novel therapeutic approach based on the generation of artificial molecules that can turn off specific pathological processes in the sick brain. We aim at delivering such molecules to the brain in order to “switch off” the pathogenic pathways that would lead to the onset of seizures, and actively maintain control of excitability until the physiological state of the brain is recovered.

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