ERGO – Epilepsy Research Group of Oslo

Erik TaubøllHead of ERGO
Erik Taubøll
Head of ERGO

Research profile and aims.

ERGO has been active in epilepsy research for about 25 years and consists of two groups:

  • Research group for Clinical Epilepsy Research. Group leader Erik Taubøll 
  • Research Group for Translational Epilepsy Research. Group leader Kjell Heuser.

 The many research projects are closely linked and are therefore referred to collectively.

Research within ERGO is currently focusing on six main areas:

  1. Epilepsy-Translational Research. This focuses on research on epileptogenesis, glial cells and genetic and clinical studies. Group leader is Kjell Heuser. The initial studies are basic research, using several in vivo epilepsy models. In addition, larger patient trials are used, in which the clinical, radiological (MRI), and neuropsychological development of TLE is monitored over time.
    We have also performed epigenetic studies investigating changes in DNA methylation and gene expression during epileptogenesis. 
  2. Gender issues, endocrinology and long-term effects of ASMs. The project leader is Sigrid Svalheim. "Gender issues" have been an important area of research for the group over many years, with many PhD theses. The current major focus is studying the long-term side-effects of ASMs on hormones, immunology, haematology and bone health. The effects of epilepsy and antiepileptic drugs on inflammation parameters have now been studied both clinically and using a zebra-fish model. 
  3. Epilepsy and cardiology / SUDEP (sudden unexpected death in epilepsy patients). The project leader is Dag Aurlien, who is presently based at Stavanger University Hospital. The project is a collaborative venture between Oslo University Hospital (OUS) and Stavanger University Hospital. Both clinical and basic animal studies are now close to an end.  
  4. Status epilepticus (SE). OUH has a large population of patients who has experienced SE and epidemiological studies have recently been performed regarding underlying causes, treatment, outcome etc. We will now together with colleagues from Denmark (Odense university, prof CP Beier) especially focus on possible predictors for outcome and study in more detail treatment of the super refractory cases
  5. Traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic epilepsy. Studies to investigate possible predictors for posttraumatic epilepsy have recently been started, in collaboration with colleagues in Italy and USA. Primarily, factors of relevance to inflammation will be the focus of our studies.  
  6. The Prehospital Seizure Control trial – (PreCtrl) .Mapping of prehospital seizure management in the ambulance service of Oslo, Norway. In collaboration with Dep. of Prehospital services, Oslo University Hospital and The Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation. This project will start up during Spring 2023. Project leader is Maren Ranhoff Hov and PhD student is Ingrid Hustad.

In addition to these five main areas of research, the group also has interests in deep brain stimulation (DBS) in epilepsy and ketogenic diets.