Epilepsy Foundation Awards $300,000 in Grants to Support the Commercialization of Two Novel Approaches for the Treatment of Epilepsy

Epilepsy Foundation — January, 2019

The Epilepsy Foundation today announced it has awarded New Therapy Commercialization grants totaling $300,000 to leading scientists with the goal of accelerating the development of therapies for those living with poorly controlled seizures.

Dr. Worrell was awarded $150,000 to advance his work with Cadence Neuroscience, which has developed a protocol that tests a variety of electrical stimulation parameters while an individual with intractable epilepsy is undergoing phase II evaluation for surgery. Preliminary evidence suggests that this procedure can be used to tailor brain stimulation therapy to each individual and enhance seizure control, compared with currently used protocols. Funds from this award will be used to develop a user-friendly workstation to allow other clinicians to personalize and optimize brain stimulation therapies for epilepsy.

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Epilepsy Foundation Awards $3 Million Grant to International Team of Scientists to Improve Seizure Forecasting

Epilepsy Foundation — October, 2018

Drs. Brinkmann and Worrell's team aims to enhance prediction capabilities by better understanding changes in the body that induce seizure activity.

In the initial phase of the award, the team will evaluate biosensors that can track an individual's physiology, behavior and environment from a range of commercially available devices. Following testing, the team will select up to three peripheral sensors to move forward for seizure forecast testing in year two. People with epilepsy will be pairing the peripheral sensors selected with their already implanted EEG recording devices.

The EEG system used will depend on the recruitment site: King's College London (UNEEG ambulatory subscalp EEG), Mayo Clinic (Medtronic RC+S intracranial device) and the Seer Medical/The University of Melbourne (Seer Medical ambulatory video EEG, SeerGP app, and subscalp EEG).

The vision is to measure a few components along with myriad factors, and then mine the data for new clues about what happens in the body in the hours and minutes before a seizure. Once the data has been collected, it will be shared with the research community through crowdsourcing platforms to facilitate algorithm development.

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Brainstorming on epilepsy

Discovery's Edge magazine — August, 2019

Epilepsy strikes without warning, when an electrical storm sweeps across the brain. Storm-chasing teams of researchers have adopted computational techniques to pinpoint and predict seizure activity.

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Epilepsy patient married and seizure-free after new treatment at Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic News Network — June, 2018

Chris White battled epileptic seizures his entire life. After failing to find relief from any available treatments, his doctors at Mayo Clinic tried a novel approach, implanting deep brain stimulation electrodes in his brain. The results have been life-changing.

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Can electrical stimulation of the brain enhance mind?

Oxford University Press Blog — May, 2018

Research on electrical brain stimulation by Dr. Worrell and his colleagues inside and outside of Mayo Clinic indicate the potential for novel treatments to improve mental processes and memory.

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FIRST TEAM Competition

Foundation for Polish Science

The FIRST TEAM program supports young researchers at the key stage of their careers — as they begin to build their research independence — helping them take on the most interesting research challenges. RandD research may be financed to ca. PLN 2 million for a period of three years. The grants are financed from the Smart Growth Operational Programme (PO IR).

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Combined single neuron unit activity and local field potential oscillations in a human visual recognition memory task

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering — BRAIN Initiative Special Issue (Cover) — January, 2016

Here, we describe recordings using hybrid electrodes, containing both micro- and clinical macroelectrodes, to simultaneously sample both large-scale network oscillations and single neuron spiking activity in the medial temporal lobe structures of human subjects during a visual recognition memory task.

Study results offer a new analytical approach to combined micro- and macro-contact recordings during cognitive processing and support development of new high-density hybrid electrode technologies as envisioned in the BRAIN initiative. Such large-scale electrophysiology will enable simultaneous sampling of the activity of multiple individual neurons on the micro-scale, and their coordinated networks on the macro-scale, to provide biomarkers of neuronal assemblies underlying human memory and other brain functions.

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Epilepsy research benefits from the crowd

NIH Director's Blog — January, 2015

For millions of people with epilepsy, life comes with too many restrictions. If they just had a reliable way to predict when their next seizure will come, they could have a chance at leading more independent and productive lives. Shared data sets may reveal signatures of electrical activity in the brain prior to a seizure.

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Mayo receives federal grant to develop smart devices to predict, stop seizures

Mayo News Network — October, 2015

Researchers at Mayo Clinic were awarded a $6.8 million, five-year federal grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop intelligent devices to track and treat abnormal brain activity in people with epilepsy. The grant, part of a presidential initiative aimed at revolutionizing the understanding of the human brain, is called Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, or the BRAIN Initiative.

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