June 22, 2022

MNI Member Research Helps Brings Hope to Epilepsy Patients

Over the past 30 years, Dr. Lori Isom's research has focused on studying sodium ion channels: gateways in the membranes of neurons, cardiac myocytes, and other cells. 

Dr. Miriam Meisler, Isom's MNI colleague, was among the first scientists to show that sodium ion channels are associated with Dravet Syndrome. Isom and her team study mice with faulty sodium channels to mimic the disease, providing a model for research.

Dr. Jack Parent, Isom's long-time collaborator, made heart cells from patients with three types of genetic epilepsy. Isom examined them, identifying indicators of arrhythmia. This successful collaboration of MNI researchers ultimately linked this arrhythmia to Dravet Syndrome, allowing the Isom/Parent team to alert one child’s doctor to a heart abnormality before it was diagnosed. Click through to read more about the science and how 8-year-old Zain Tello became the first patient enrolled in the resulting clinical trial. Click below to read the whole story!