Newswise — OMAHA, Neb. – The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has awarded Timothy Simeone, Ph.D., a five-year $1.5 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to identify new mechanisms in epilepsy to provide potential targets for future therapeutics.
Simeone is an assistant professor of Pharmacology in Creighton University’s School of Medicine. The study is related to his previous research, which has identified one particular protein important for the management of seizures in children and adolescents with a special high-fat diet. Simeone’s research will explore the role of this protein, and associated regulator pathways, in normal and epileptic brain function. He aims to determine previously unknown mechanisms of epilepsy and identify additional targets for therapeutic development.
The research is especially important because one in 26 people will develop epilepsy in their lifetime of which approximately 30 percent will not achieve adequate seizure control with current anti-seizure drugs. That same population is at greatest risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).
The particular pathways that Simeone is studying are significant beyond treatments for epilepsy. The pathways, which are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, also are being investigated as treatments for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS and type 2 diabetes.
Simeone will receive assistance in the research from two other Creighton professors: Kristina Simeone, Ph.D., assistant professor of Pharmacology; and Heather Jensen-Smith, Ph.D., research assistant professor of Biomedical Sciences.