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Toward profiling and treating neurosteroid withdrawal in catamenial epilepsy

Year:
2023
Duration:
45 months
Approved budget:
$249,985.05
Researchers:
Dr Rachael Sumner
,
Dr Peter Bergin
,
Dr Cynthia Sharpe
,
Professor Paul Hofman
,
Associate Professor Suresh Muthukumaraswamy
,
Dr Alana Cavadino
Health issue:
Neurological (CNS)
Proposal type:
Emerging Researcher First Grant
Lay summary
Epilepsy is one of the most common and debilitating neurological conditions in the world, affecting 1-2% of the population. For 40% of women with epilepsy, their menstrual cycle will worsen their seizures; they will experience twice as many seizures as they ordinarily would, and only at specific points of their menstrual cycle. This is called catamenial epilepsy. In this project we will complete a piloted observational study of (1) females who have catamenial epilepsy, (2) females with epilepsy without catamenial seizures and (3) females without epilepsy. We will compare each group at key phases of the menstrual cycle using blood sampling, electroencephalography, and computational modelling to reveal the mechanisms behind how major shifts in hormones that are caused by the menstrual cycle can change the likelihood of some females with epilepsy having a seizure. We will use this data to rationally design and begin work initiating a patient-centred clinical trial.