Yale joins national epilepsy study

Yale has been named a key member of a national group of medical centers that has received the largest grant ever for a study of epilepsy in children. The $17 million award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke will fund a study of the three most-used drugs for treating childhood absence (petit mal) epilepsy. The five-year study at 20 sites across the country will attempt to determine the best initial medicine for childhood absence epilepsy, which involves seizures marked by nonconvulsive staring spells.

At Yale researchers will try to identify why some treatments work, why some have side effects and what effects they have on cognition, behavior and learning. “This is the first step toward our goal of making it possible for physicians to predict patient response and tailor therapies for individual needs,” said Edward J. Novotny Jr., M.D., FW ’89, who is leading the study with colleague Susan R. Levy, M.D.


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