Epilepsy significantly lowers the quality of life for those affected by the condition. Despite the numerous anticonvulsant drugs available, in about one third of epilepsy patients seizures are not adequately controlled. Diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers could significantly improve the treatment of epilepsy. The Academy of Finland has granted 2-year project funding for the study of epilepsy by Assistant Professor Tarja Pääkkönen (Jokinen). In the funded project, Pääkkönen’s research team uses spontaneous epilepsy in dogs to identify biomarkers that can predict the possible progression of epilepsy and the future response to treatment.
DVM Tarja Pääkkönen, Director of the NeuroPet Research Group, is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Disease Research, part of the HOH Helsinki One Health Network, and a joint professor between the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Medicine at the University of Helsinki. Helsinki One Health is a recently established network for research on human and animal health, encouraging various fields to work together to solve common health problems affecting the entire human and animal populations. Pääkkönen has extensively studied idiopathic / genetic epilepsy in dogs and is also an invited member of the International Veterinary Epilepsy Task Force (IVETF).