The Epilepsy Research Group in Department of Neurology (ERGO - Epilepsy Research Group of Oslo) and the Department of Neurosurgery at Ullevål are now starting clinical studies of possible biomarkers for the development of epilepsy after head injuries. In the next round, it may be relevant to try out intervention treatment with medication.
The main study will be part of an international multi-center study we are now participating in and where Oslo could become one of the largest contributors. The project has received support from the CURE Epilepsy Foundation in the USA, which in turn has received USD 10 million from the US Department of Defense to study the mechanisms behind the development of post-traumatic epilepsy. Post-traumatic epilepsy is a major health problem both nationally and internationally. If we could find new markers predicting epilepsy development after a head injury, one could try to treat current head injury patients at an early stage and thereby prevent epilepsy development later.
We will also do our own studies together with other research groups in Norway and abroad. Especially, we have a collaboration in progress with Professor Vezzani in Milan who is considered to be a world leader in the field of inflammation and epilepsy.
The name of the study is: "Genetic and protein biomarkers of post-traumatic epilepsy to improve prediction of PTE: A prospective study in an enriched patient population". We will especially look for inflammation markers, markers for changes in glutamate transporters and adenosine metabolism. Hild Flatmark Sødal at the Department of Neurology at Ullevål is a phd student in the project. Gøril Storvig is a Master’s student at UiO. Professor Eirik Helseth at the Department of Neurosurgery and Erik Taubøll at the Department of Neurology are supervisors. The project will thus be a collaborative project between the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, and opens up for further further international collaboration in the field of posttraumatic epilepsy.
The study is now underway and after one month (as of 05.02.2021) 4 patients are already included.