Epilepsy

PI:       
Prof. A. Aldenkamp

Research Staff:   
Prof. H. Vles
Prof. W. Backes
Dr. P. Hofman
Dr. M. Majoie
Dr. G. Hoogland
Dr. R. Rouhl
Dr. M. Vlooswijk

Postdocs:   
Dr. J. Jansen

PhD-students:   
E. Barendse
K. Beerhorst
R. Besseling
R. Binie
W. van Blarikom
N. Bodde
Z. Bouwman
H. Braakman
M. Buskermolen
S. Ebus
N. Gosens
M. Huijts
D. IJff
R. van der Kinderen
S. van der Kruijs
S. Klinkenberg
J. Peijnenborgh
J. van Tuijl
T. Veenendaal
S. Schipper

Focus of research:   
Chronic epilepsy

In 2003, the central theme within the research topic “Epilepsy” was “Chronic Epilepsy”. A substantial grant from the National Epilepsy Fund (NEF) was preciously obtained for this program (led by Prof.dr. A. Aldenkamp). One of the most severe consequences of chronic epilepsy concerns to the impairment of cognitive functions, including the general thinking, memory, language and problem-solving capabilities. The neuronal substrate that explains this co-morbidity is still largely unknown. The novel insight today is that epilepsy is more a network disease rather than a single focal abnormality of malfunction. Traditionally, epilepsy research utilizes different techniques and methods: measurement of brain waves (electro-ecephalogaphy, EEG), imaging (acquisition of anatomic and functional brain images with scanning devices) and neuropsychological assessment. Recent technological developemtns of MRI methods, in particular functional and diffusion MRI, provede possibilities to obtain new insights on the organization and integrity of cerebral networks which may lead to strategies that prevent chronic epilepsy and cognitive co-morbidity. Also, further efforts are taken to unravel the neuronal and physical substrates for Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures.

Next to this clinical line there is an established pre-clinical research program, which a.o. now aims at determining factors which are involved epileptogenesis and chronicity in epilepsy animal models, like epigenetics, extra-synaptic receptors and mitochondrial function.

The current research program is a close collaboration between the Departments of Radiology and Neurology in the MUMC+ and the Epilepsy Institute Kempenheaeghe. In 2013 the formal process was started leading to the institution of the Academic Centre for Epileptology.