MicroRNAs in the Pathogenesis, Treatment

and Prevention of Epilepsy

Short Facts

EpimiRNA - MicroRNAs in the pathogenesis, treatment and prevention of epilepsy under an epileptogenic insult

The EU-funded project EpimiRNA with 16 partners from eight European countries, the USA and Brazil, is aiming to generate the necessary biomedical, clinical and industrial research data to improve treatment of epilepsy.

A major breakthrough in the study of epilepsy was the discovery of microRNAs, small cell molecules which may be critical to controlling the changes in brain chemistry that accompany the development and course of epilepsy. The EpimiRNA consortium undertakes an interdisciplinary effort to systematically investigate the occurrence and effects of this molecule in humans and mice and will explore the potential of targeting microRNAs using designer drug-like molecules.

EpimiRNA will determine whether variation in the genetic code for these molecules is present in patients with epilepsy and aim to understand the molecular mechanism and the causes of epileptic seizures. Finally, we want to develop a novel microRNA-based therapy, which prevents the development of epilepsy, the occurrence of seizures and maybe even reverse epilepsy once established.

Prof. David Henshall

Professor of Molecular Physiology and Neuroscience
Physiology & Medical Physics Dept
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Ireland