Epilepsy Research

The epilepsy division faculty members are involved in multiple research efforts that include – but are not limited to – sophisticated electrophysiological investigations, human imaging studies, effects of seizure medications on maternal outcomes, to role of continuous EEF in treating acutely ill patients in the ICU, acute treatment of seizures, VNS registry, and RNS-based investigations, to name a few.

The key intra-institutional collaborative efforts are with the laboratories of Jorge Gonzalez-Martinez, MD, PhD (Department of Neurological Surgery), Shawn Sorrells, PhD (Department of Neuroscience), and Mike Modo, PhD (McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine). There are multiple other collaborative research interactions being cultivated through the Brain Institute and Center for Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBS). Traditionally productive collaborations with members of Carnegie Mellon University are currently maintained through Bin He, MS, PhD, the Trustee Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering, as well as a Professor at the Neuroscience Institute.

Current Study:

PBPK Study

The Physiological-Based Pharmokinetcs (PBPK) Approach to Determine the Extent of Drug Exposure Anti-seizure Medications During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

This project focuses on anti-seizure medication (ASM) clearance and physiological factors determining blood concentrations in pregnant adult women with epilepsy and amounts of exposure to their unborn children and nursing infants.

This study will consist of 6 in person visits with the potential for up to 10 additional blood draw visits throughout the study, as well as at-home activities. These will occur throughout pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, and post-partum, and these visits include interviews, brief physical and neurological exams, blood draws, and completion of self-report diaries. This is an observational study, so your clinical treatment will not be changed. There is no cost to participate, and you will be compensated a total of $625 - $875.

For more information, please contact:

  • Page Pennell, MD (Principal Investigator)
  • Kerry Oddis Nikhil Khongbantabam (Research Coordinators)
  • epilepsyresearch@upmc.edu