2008

Multidisciplinary Awards

Targeted Enhancement Of GABA Synthesis For Epilepsy Therapy

Gregory Mathews, MD, PhD - David Poulsen, PhD
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
 

Despite a dramatic increase in new drugs available for epilepsy patients, more than 30% of patients still do not achieve seizure freedom. Therapies aimed at increasing GABA, the major neurotransmitter in the brain, are key targets for anticonvulsant therapies. However, traditional medications are heavily sedating with significant cognitive side effects. This one-year collaborative effort between Dr. Poulsen (a molecular virologist) and Dr. Mathews (a clinical epileptologist and basic neuroscientist) will explore the use of viral gene technology for enhancing GABA, offering the promise of new and less debilitating therapeutic options for epilepsy patients.

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