Project Title: “The Role of the Microbiome in Drug-Resistant Epilepsy”
One in three patients with epilepsy will not achieve seizure freedom after trying two or more anti-seizure medications (ASMs), meeting the criteria for drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE). Currently, ASMs are chosen for a patient based on a variety of factors, however, neither the success of a particular ASM nor the odds of becoming drug-resistant can be predicted or fully explained.
Dr. Lemley’s research will explore potential connections between the gut microbiome and drug-resistant epilepsy. Her research hypothesizes that the gut microbiome in patients with DRE contributes to seizures either by directly inactivating the ASM, or indirectly through its effect on neuroprotective microbial substances. Identifying the microbiome differences between patients with drug-resistant epilepsy versus those with well-controlled epilepsy could improve ASM selection and effectiveness.
Dr. Lemley is a clinical epilepsy fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
This research is funded by the American Epilepsy Society, Epilepsy Foundation, and American Brain Foundation, in collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology.