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NIH Grant Expands Research on Disrupting Epileptic Seizures

The National Institute of Health (NIH) has awarded a grant totaling over $1,280,000 over five years to David Mogul, Professor of Biomedical Engineering. The funded project is titled, “Manipulating Multisite Network Endogenous Brain Synchrony Disrupts Epileptic Seizures," and aims to expand the knowledge of using deep brain stimulation to disrupt epileptic seizures.

Over 1% of the world's population has some form of epilepsy that results in chronic recurring seizures. This long-term illness can be hugely disruptive and sometimes life-threatening. Currently, the most common form of treatment is oral drugs. Approximately one-third of patients prescribed to the available pharmaceuticals report little or no relief.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) provides the potential for disrupting epileptic seizures but many of the experimental and clinical applications of DBS thus far have been disappointing. Dr. Mogul and his research team believe that this is because DBS has been applied using protocols that do not reflect real-time brain electrical dynamics.

A novel solution pioneered in Dr. Mogul's lab utilizes advanced dynamical analysis to formulate DBS that depends on actual brain states tailored to individual epileptic subjects. Their solution has shown to be significantly more effective than current methods at stopping epileptic seizures. This grant will help to expand both the application of DBS in disrupting epileptic seizures as well as improve the understanding of how seizures evolve in patients with epilepsy.

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