2015 Funding Round - Emerging Researcher First Grant

Dr Shakila Rizwan
University of Otago, Dunedin
The nose knows the way: An intranasal approach to treat drug-resistant epilepsy
$137,636
36 months

Lay summary

Epilepsy is a common brain disorder with up to 40 per cent of sufferers failing to achieve good seizure control. This is because conventional oral therapy falls short in getting high enough levels of anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) to the region of the brain from which seizures start. Treatment for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) is currently limited to surgical removal of the seizure-generating area, an invasive procedure with high risk of functional impairment. A promising and non-invasive strategy to increase brain AED concentration is by packaging them in small biological carriers and administering them via the nose. This is because the nasal cavity is a site for direct absorption of drugs into the brain. Nasal administration is also safe and convenient for the patient. In this project we will package the AED phenytoin in biological carriers called cubosomes. We will test the seizure suppressing effect of this technology in animals with DRE.

Back to Funding Recipients