SUDEP Prevention – Experimental Serotonergic Mechanisms in DBA/2 Mice
Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) results from breathing failure after seizures. The DBA/2 mouse model also shows seizures and death due to breathing failure. Fluoxetine, a drug which increases the brain chemical serotonin, prevents breathing failure in DBA/2 mice. This collaborative project between Dr. Faingold, an epilepsy researcher and Dr. Utsehev-Gaard, a basic neuroscientist, will determine if novel drugs acting on serotonin will block SUDEP in DBA/2 mice with lower doses and fewer side effects. They will also examine how these drugs act on a brain region (solitary tract nucleus), which controls breathing to observe the nature of the defect causing death in DBA/2 mice.