Epilepsy is a brain disorder which causes people to have recurring seizures. During a seizure, an abnormal cluster of brain’s nerve cells is discharged which causes a temporary disturbance of motor, sensory, or mental functions. At this time, a person may have violent muscle spasms, strange sensations and emotions, or even lose consciousness. Currently, a reason for most cases of epilepsy is not retraceable; however some of the possible triggers can be a brain injury or tumor, illness, after effects of an infection, or abnormal brain development. Seizures are categorized into two groups depending on which part of the brain is involved: entire brain or partial brain area.
In Canada, 1% of the population has epilepsy with 15,000 new cases each year. In the United States of America, the percentage of the population is also 1% with about 200,000 new cases each year.
Currently, we have an ongoing project studying the role of axonal guidance molecules in development of inflammation in brain during epilepsy.