Two lucky Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) researchers were awarded grants by the LGS Foundation last week on July 12. These two recipients are both doing fascinating work in LGS research and, with all of this new money, may be the future trailblazers for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome treatments.
According to the Director of Research and Strategy at the LGS Foundation, Tracy Dixon-Salazar, PhD,
“These projects are important because advancing our scientific understanding of LGS is the only way we will get to meaningful cures for our children.”
Lennox-gastaut syndrome (LGS) is a type of epilepsy with many different seizures associated with it. In most cases, intellectual development is also impaired as a result of these seizures. LGS is also incredible hard to treat, because the seizures in LGS do not respond to typical anticonvulsants. To learn more about LGS, click here!
One of the two recipients of the LGS Foundation grant is Dr. Nieto-Estevez, PhD, from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Nieto-Estevez will receive a two-year, $50,000 post-doctoral fellowship; this money will support her research specifically on understanding how mutations of the CHD2 gene contribute to LGS.
Though it is known that mutations in this gene are closely related to LGS, there is currently very little knowledge on this gene’s specific function in the brain. Dr. Nieto-Estevez will use this grant money to research just that, and hopefully her discoveries will lead to more effective treatments in the future.
The second grant recipient is Aaron Warren, PhD Candidate from the University of Melbourne in Australia. Warren, as well, will receive a two-year, $50,000 post-doctoral fellowship. Warren’s research is focused around deep brain stimulation (DBS) and its effectiveness in controlling seizures.
Often times, deep brain stimulation is traumatic for patients and caregivers, so Warren’s research is attempting to use tests that are not so invasive but would still predict if a LGS patient should undergo this procedure or not. Among these less invasive tests used would include EEG and functional MRI.
Basically, these grants are not only going to be a huge help to these two scientists, but also to potentially the entire LGS community. Definitely keep an eye on these two projects as research is developed!