Neuropathology of SUDEP
Specific Aims and Tasks
The Core will examine a large collection of SUDEP brains to explore the role of specific histopathological and biomolecular abnormalities in the brain, focusing on critical brainstem regions and the neurotransmitters serotonin and adenosine. The goal is to perform a large-scale study of SUDEP brains in hopes this will reveal microstructural abnormalities and alterations of interneurons as well as in purinergic and serotonergic systems in respiratory and autonomic regulating structures of the brain. The study will link phenotypic data to biopsy samples as well as to postmortem brains from SUDEP cases, control brains from patients with epilepsy who died from other causes and to patients without epilepsy who died suddenly. The central hypothesis is that neuropathological changes can be identified in cortical and brainstem regions that subserve regulation of autonomic regulatory function.