Thursday 3 May 2018 9:18am
BHRC member Associate Professor Lynette Sadleir will be giving the public lecture before the Brain Health Research Centre annual conference next month.
Her talk is entitled "From Demons and Exorcism to Gene Mutations and Targeted Therapy: Where scientific research has taken our understanding and treatment of epilepsy".
Epilepsy is the most common serious brain illness in children and can be associated with significant learning, movement and behaviour problems. One in 4 children with severe epilepsy die before they become adults. Historically, curses and demonic possession were thought to cause epilepsy with amulets and exorcisms used to treat it.
Epilepsy research has revealed that changes in the genetic code of these children is what actually causes their epilepsy. Novel therapies, such as cannabidiol, are being shown to improve the outcome for these children with genetic epilepsies.
Lynette leads the Epilepsy Research Group at the Wellington School of Medicine, University of Otago. Her epilepsy research project aims to identify new types of genetic epilepsies, discover the genes that cause these epilepsies, understand how genetic changes in these genes work to cause epilepsy and work toward precision medicine with targeted therapies to improve the outcome of people with epilepsy.
She also collaborates on a larger research project with researchers from the Universities of Melbourne and Washington. They recently had a paper published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine looking at genetic copying mistakes
The lecture will be held at 5.30pm on Wednesday 6 June at the Dunningham Suite, Fourth Floor, Dunedin Public Library, 270 Moray Place, Dunedin.