ERGO – Epilepsy Research Group of Oslo
The Research Group’s Objectives and Strategy
The Epilepsy Research Group in Department of Neurology (ERGO – Epilepsy Research Group of Oslo) has been active for about 25 years. ERGO entails two groups, led by Erik Taubøll and Kjell Heuser.
Our research is currently focused on five main areas:
- Translational Epilepsy Research. Research group leader is Kjell Heuser. This is a main research area focusing on the role of the brain's glial cells in the development and exacerbation of epilepsy (epileptogenesis). The initial studies are basic research using different epilepsy models including basic neurophysiology, two-photon imaging and epigenetic studies. In addition, larger patient trials are used in which the clinical, radiological (MRI), and neuropsychological development of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (TLE) is monitored over time.
- Long-term effects of AEDs, gender issues and endocrinology. 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 AEDs on hormones, immunology, haematology and bone health. Both clinical studies and experimental studies in zebrafish is used.
- Epilepsy and cardiology / SUDEP (sudden unexpected death in epilepsy patients). Project leader is Dag Aurlien who is presently based at Stavanger University Hospital. The project is a collaborative venture between Oslo University Hospital (OUH) and Stavanger University Hospital. Both clinical and basic animal research is going on.
- Status epilepticus (SE). Project leader is Erik Taubøll. 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 especially focus especially on possible predictors for outcome based on EEG and study in more detail treatment of the superrefractory cases.
- Posttraumatic epilepsy (PTE). Project leader is Erik Taubøll. Prevention of epilepsy after trauma is one of the great unmet needs in epilepsy. We are performing both retrospective studies and have started a large prospective study on possible biomarkers for PTE in collaboration with Department of Neurosurgery in OUH and as part of an international network of centres in USA, Italy, Czech Republic and Germany supported by the CURE programme in USA and Department of Defence, USA.
In addition to these five main areas of research, the group is also interested in deep brain stimulation (DBS) in epilepsy, ketogenic diets for adults, and cognitive changes in epilepsy patients.