1. The interaction between epilepsy and the gut microbiome
The group is investigating if the composition of bacteria and other microorganisms that live in the gut (known as the gut microbiome) is substantially different in people with epilepsy on antiepileptic drugs compared to healthy subjects. This includes looking specifically into the presence of gut dysbiosis, where there is lack of beneficial microbes and excess of potentially harmful microbes. The group is also looking at cognitive and mood difficulties that are not only known to co-exist with epilepsy but have been associated with the health of the gut microbiome. This is a first ever study of this kind in Australia. They have set up a biobank and developed testing kits in their lab. This will be an important step that will help understanding of the gut-brain communication and its effects in the health of people with epilepsy.
PARTICIPANTS ARE STILL NEEDED FOR THE MICROBIOME STUDY
If you are interested in participating, please contact Ms Katherine Roberts by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0481 706 185.
2. Types of cognitive dysfunction and depression in epilepsy
The group is investigating memory and other cognitive functions, mood and sleep in people with epilepsy. The group seeks to map how depression and memory problems present in people with epilepsy and assess their impact on the management of epilepsy. This will lead to better recognition of depression and cognitive problems by clinicians, earlier diagnosis and intervention, and improve quality of life for patients.
3. Sudden Unexpected Deaths in Epilepsy (SUDEP)
The group has recently joined the EpiNet Study Group, an international group of neurologists and epileptologists conducting research on clinical management of epilepsy using online databases. The group are participating in the EpiNet SUDEP Study, a case-control study collecting information regarding epilepsy and lifestyle issues from patients who die from SUDEP and matched controls.