Maliha Ahmed | Applied Mathematics, University of Waterloo
Hormonal Influence on the Resolution of Absence Seizures in Adolescents
Childhood absence epilepsy (CAE) is an idiopathic generalized epilepsy disorder which affects children between the ages of 4-12 years. It is characterized by sudden brief periods of impaired consciousness occurring several times a day. One of the most confounding features of CAE is its ability to spontaneously resolve in adolescence, with remission occurring in about 80% of cases, while in others it can progress into more severe types of epilepsy. There are several hypothesized mechanisms involved in remission, including antiepileptic drugs, differences in circuitry arrangements and genetic predisposition. However, there remains an inadequate understanding of some of these factors that can inform early intervention practices and our research will help fill in those gaps. Specifically, our objective is to study the role of sex steroid hormones, particularly progesterone, on network behaviour, and intrinsic differences in brain connectivity in the eventual resolution of CAE using biophysically plausible, computational models of the thalamocortical system associated with CAE.