MicroRNAs in the Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention of Epilepsy
Coordinator: David HENSHALL
Project Number: 602130
EC contribution: € 11,586,858.00
Project website: http://www.epimirna.eu/
Epilepsy is a major burden for patients and health systems worldwide. It is a common chronic neurological disorder affecting people of all ages, and the shortfall in existing treatments means that 30% of patients continue to suffer uncontrolled seizures. MicroRNAs (miRNA) are a recently-discovered, network-level layer of gene expression regulation that controls protein levels of entire signaling pathways. Research on miRNAs has unprecedented potential to
- further our understanding of the underlying disease processes,
- deliver novel signatures and prognostic markers for response to therapy, and
- deliver novel therapeutics and drug targets.
EpiMiRNA consortium members have pioneered discoveries on brain-specific miRNAs, established that miRNA changes are a feature of the pathophysiology of human temporal lobe epilepsy and have demonstrated experimentally that altering miRNA function can potently suppress epileptic seizures and seizure-damage.
EpiMiRNA brings together experts on the neurobiology of miRNAs with the leading researchers working on miRNAs in epilepsy, epilepsy geneticists, leaders in miRNA-target detection, proteomics, and systems biology with research-intensive SMEs pursuing miRNA therapeutics and treatments for pharmacoresistant epilepsy.
Through highly collaborative, inter-disciplinary and inter-sectorial research, EpiMiRNA will explain the mechanism by which miRNAs contribute to epileptogenesis, characterize genetic variation of miRNA in patients, evaluate seizure-suppressing effects of miRNAs in experimental models, identify novel miRNA modulatory molecules as potential future therapeutics, and develop miRNAs as prognostic markers to identify patients who respond to novel, non-pharmacological therapeutic interventions including brain stimulation.
EpiMiRNA will generate the necessary critical mass in biomedical, clinical and industry/SME research to track, treat and prevent seizures and improve the clinical management of epilepsy patients.