DSF Funding Support for Aliesha Griffin

Postdoctoral fellowship awarded to Aliesha Griffin

 

Optimization of Clemizole as  Novel Treatment for Dravet Syndrome

There is a significant need to develop new therapeutic treatments for Dravet syndrome patients as many children suffer persistent drug resistant seizures.  Like DS patients, zebrafish with a mutation in SCN1A also have seizure-like behaviors.  A first-generation antihistamine (clemizole) was identified during drug screening as a novel compound that could significantly suppress these seizure-like events.  However, antihistamines are not recommended for pediatric epilepsy syndromes such as DS.  By modifying the chemical structure of clemizole we plan to remove its antihistamine activity.  These new compounds - or clemalogs - will be screened for antiepileptic activity using our DS zebrafish model.  We anticipate that this work will provide a platform for the development of a new drug for the treatment of Dravet syndrome.