Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation funds a collaborative epilepsy research project between A.I.Virtanen Institute, the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) and the Epilepsy Center at Kuopio University Hospital. The long-term aim of the project is to improve the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy.
For individuals with drug-resistant focal epilepsy, the only available treatment option is the surgical removal of the epileptogenic zone. The aim of the project is to develop, firstly, more sensitive and specific MRI approaches for identification of the epileptogenic zone and, secondly, to illuminate what makes tissue epileptogenic at the structural, functional, and molecular level. This is achieved by using novel imaging approaches in pre-surgery MRI. After epilepsy surgery, with the permission of the patients, the dissected tissue is utilized for high-resolution MRI, advanced microscopy and cellular level functional and molecular analysis. As a result, we will create a unique multiscale and multidimensional dataset from individual patients, which will be combined and analyzed using advanced machine learning techniques and by combing data from different sources.
Research is carried out in a consortium consisting of several research groups from UEF and KUH, including expertise in clinical epileptology (Professor Reetta Kälviäinen) and neurosurgery (Professor Ville Leinonen), experimental MRI (Professor Olli Gröhn), micro and ultrastructural imaging and histological analyses (Research Director Alejandra Sierra Lopez), evaluation of neuronal and molecular networks (Professor Tarja Malm) and multimodal image analyses and data integration (Professor Jussi Tohka).
“I am very excited about this opportunity to develop MRI and investigate multiscale network activity in epileptogenic tissue. A rare combination of expertise and established collaboration between UEF and KUH provide a unique setting to carry out this kind of multimodal research," says the research consortium's Director, Professor Gröhn.
Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation has granted the research project Multiscale assessment of epileptogenicity in the human brain – for better diagnosis and treatment of drug-refractory epilepsy a funding of 1,483,000 €.
For further information, please contact:
Professor Olli Gröhn, University of Eastern Finland, A. I. Virtanen Institute, tel. +358 50 359 0963, https://uefconnect.uef.fi/henkilo/olli.grohn/
Professor Reetta Kälviäinen, KUH Epilepsy Center, Member of EpiCARE ERN, tel. +358 40 5839249
These research groups are members of the multidisciplinary Neuroscience Research Community (NEURO RC) at the University of Eastern Finland. NEURO RC aims to understand the disease-specific and common molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases and epilepsy and to identify novel biomarkers and therapeutic approaches for their prevention and cure. Comprising 17 research groups, NEURO RC integrates biological neurosciences with data sciences, neuro-innovations, and neuro-ethics. Learn more and connect with NEURO RC: