Les comorbidités, la fragilité et les personnes âgées atteintes d'épilepsie : un programme de recherche à multiples facettes pour améliorer les soins médicaux d'une population de patients en croissance rapide

 

Keezer Mark

Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal [CHUM]

 

Domaine : neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Programme Chercheurs-boursiers cliniciens - Junior 1

Concours 2019-2020

Epilepsy is a chronic disease of the brain. Epilepsy may occur at any age but is most frequent in people aged greater than 65 years, affecting one in a hundred individuals. My research is focused on the relationship between epilepsy and other chronic diseases, referred to as comorbidities. I am additionally interested in how comorbidities interact with the frailty of older people with epilepsy and how both of these should inform treatment  choice . My research program is divided into 3 projects.

The first project uses the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), a research database including data on more than 50,000 Canadians. I will the way the comorbidities of epilepsy relate to multiple measures of health and well-being in people with epilepsy. I will also use the CLSA to study the reasons why vascular disease, including heart attack and stroke, are more common in people with epilepsy.

My second project involves my recruiting people aged at least 60 years old, all with new onset epilepsy but for which there is no evident cause after a standard series of investigations. In this project, I will study whether these individuals have more vascular diseases that would otherwise be expected. Each individual will also undergo advanced brain imaging scans to see whether these new and investigational tests can detect small strokes to explain these individuals' otherwise unexplained epilepsy.

My third project will study what are the best medications to treat epilepsy in the elderly. I will especially focus on how comorbidities and the overall physical and mental vulnerability to disease of a person (referred to as frailty) can help determine the optimal medical treatment for an older person with epilepsy.