The epilepsy research community at the Department of Neurology, Oslo University Hospital, has recently received research funding totaling approximately 8 million Norwegian kroner for translational epilepsy research. This includes a grant of about 6.6 million kroner from the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority and a grant of about 1.4 million kroner from the Lundbeck Foundation.
The funds will be utilized in translational epilepsy research led by Senior Neurologist Kjell Heuser, in collaboration with the Letten Centre at the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences at the University of Oslo, led by Rune Enger. The project supported by Lundbeck involves collaboration with Prof. Christoph Beier at Odense University Hospital.
Epilepsy is one of the most prevalent and costly neurological disorders, affecting approximately 1 percent of the population. Much about epilepsy remains unclear, including the mechanisms controlling focal or generalized hyperexcitability. Both projects aim to investigate whether glial cells in the brain (astrocytes and microglia) play a role in stopping epileptic seizures.
In the project supported by Health South-East, titled "Astrocyte-driven brain hyperexcitability as a novel treatment target for epilepsy," we will explore whether mechanisms mostly known from migraines (spreading depolarization) can halt or prevent the spread of seizures. Discoveries in this area could provide new insights into both epilepsy and migraines, opening the door to exciting therapeutic possibilities.
The Lundbeck-supported project, titled "Making age a treatable risk factor for neuronal damage after status epilepticus," will examine whether inflammation and changes in the blood-brain barrier contribute to poor survival in older individuals with prolonged seizures/status epilepticus.
We extend warm thanks to South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority and Lundbeck for these significant grants. We look forward to contributing to increased knowledge about epilepsy and exploring potential new treatment methods.
Kjell Heuser, Neurologist and Project leader
Department of Neurology, Oslo University Hospital