Autonomic and Imaging Biomarkers

Specific Aims and Tasks

Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) affects ~3000 individuals with epilepsy in the USA annually. Death results from profound breathing and/or cardiovascular dysfunction, but mechanisms underlying failure, and risk factors identifying those most at risk are unknown. Our goal is to identify patterns of physiological dysfunction surrounding seizure periods and the underlying neural injury contributing to those patterns. We aim to identify patterns of physiological dysfunction (changes in blood pressure, heart rate, arrhythmia, breathing and EEG patterns) surrounding seizure periods and the underlying neural injury (focal structural brain changes identified through brain imaging including MRI) contributing to those patterns.
  • This project will provide insight into mechanisms of failure in SUDEP, and suggest pre-mortem characteristics that lead to a fatal scenario that are suitable for targeted intervention.

Principal Investigators