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2020

CURE Epilepsy Research Continuity Fund Recipient

Reactive Neurogenesis and Gliosis in a Model of Generalized Infant Epilepsy

Juan Encinas, PhD
Achucarro Basque Center for Neuroscience, Spain
 

Dravet Syndrome (DS) is a rare form of epilepsy, but it is also a devastating one. Seizures start early in life causing profound and lasting alterations in the brain. DS causes cognitive deficits, motor impairment, hyperactivity, sleep disorders, autistic-like behavior and premature death. A large proportion of individuals with DS do not respond to treatment. Using the most advanced techniques, Dr. Encinas and his team will analyze the alterations of interneurons, the type of neurons that normally orchestrate brain activity but fail to do so in DS. They will also study other cell types, such as glia and neural stem cells, which work together with neurons to keep the brain healthy as well as manipulate two molecular pathways that are altered in DS, in order to restore normal brain function.

Dr. Encinas’s research is funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. The CURE Epilepsy Research Continuity Fund will help support this research by allowing the team to generate their mouse model and get back on track after COVID-19 related delays.