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Neonatal seizure saliva study

Title A Salivary Transcriptomic Approach to Drug Discovery for Neonatal Seizures
Therapeutic Area Seizures (Tufts Children's), Brain Malformations (Tufts Children's), Developmental Disabilities (Tufts Children's)
Principal Investigator Tomo Tarui, MD
Min Age 0 Years
Max Age 18 Years
Gender All
Contact Vidya Iyer, MD
617 636-0186


Neonatal seizures have developmentally unique and heterogeneous disease mechanisms that differ from epilepsies seen in older populations. Anti-seizure drug discovery has had limited success over the decades to improve treatment of neonatal seizures. A knowledge gap exists in the molecular mechanisms responsible for neonatal seizures, limiting anti-seizure therapeutic targets unique to this population. Our study goal is to identify unique molecular networks and pathways responsible for neonatal seizures by salivary gene expression analyses, so that we may identify novel drug therapies to improve outcomes in this vulnerable population.

Study Details

Inclusion Criteria

  • Neonates with clinical diagnosis of seizures (case).
  • Healthy neonates without apparent medical condition (control).

Exclusion Criteria

  • Physical condition that is considered to be too unstable to collect saliva via gentle low wall suction.

Study Requirements

If you choose to participate, saliva will be gently suctioned from your mouth. Saliva samples will be collected two times - before and about 1 week after treatment of seizures (case) OR time of recruitment (control). One clinic visit around 18 months of age to perform developmental tests. The developmental tests takes about 3 hours that involves interaction with the child and questions to the parents or care givers.