Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) has awarded Timothy Simeone, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacology at Creighton University School of Medicine, its Vogelstein Pediatric Epilepsy Award. The two-year, $250,000 grant will further his research into how a special high-fat diet can help manage seizures in children and adolescents.
Simeone studies epilepsy and how the ketogenic diet is effective in controlling seizures in patients who don't respond to currently available medications. His CURE-funded research, "The Critical Role of PPARgamma (PPARG) in Ketogenic Diet Efficiency," will seek to better understand his recent findings that suggest PPARG, a regulator of gene expression, may be to thank for the ketogenic diet's anti-seizure benefit. Over the next two years, he will investigate how the ketogenic diet targets PPARG and test investigational drugs.
"The ketogenic diet is incredibly strict and not very easy for patients to follow," explains Simeone. "So through this research we also hope to explore possible strategies of reducing the stringency of the diet, thereby bringing us closer to the ultimate goals of No Seizures/No Side Effects."
CURE was founded by parents of children with epilepsy who were frustrated with their inability to protect their children from the devastation of seizures and the side effects of medications. Its mission is not only driven by the pressing need for scientific research and data, but by the painful struggle of families who suffer from epilepsy worldwide. Each year CURE funds research awards based on promising trends in the fiend and the potential for breakthroughs in a specified area.