Corporate Advisory Board
The Child Neurology Foundation announces the award of a research grant specific to Infantile Spasms to be made at the Child Neurology Society meeting in the fall. The selected investigator will receive a One-year grant of $30,000.
Dr. Catherine Chu-Shore:
Infantile spasms are poorly understood. In our current research we are using EEG recordings to evaluate functional brain networks in children with infantile spasms. In this severe epilepsy syndrome, abnormal brain activity interferes with normal development in infancy and can lead to permanent mental retardation. We are working to identify alterations in functional network patterns that may explain and predict these infants’ long term cognitive and developmental outcome and help guide treatment. We have applied these techniques to a small group of infants with infantile spasms with promising preliminary results. In order to better study this rare, but important syndrome, we have created a multi-institutional infantile spasms EEG database and are actively collaborating with the Epilepsy Phenome Genome Project to analyze EEGs in both retrospective and prospective studies for patients with infantile spasms. We hope that this work will help these young infants as well as help to better explain the important relationship between epilepsy and brain development in young children. We have been fortunate to have received an AAN Clinical Research Training Fellowship in addition to the Child Neurology Foundation Infantile Spasms Research Award to support this work.
Dr. Catherine Chu-Shore completed her child neurology training at Massachusetts General Hospital. In 2010, Dr. Chu-Shore joined the staff at MGH in the Pediatric Neurology and Neurophysiology Programs.
Dr. Catherine Chu-Shore:
Catherine Chu-Shore received her undergraduate degree in biological psychology from the University of Washington, where she studied experience-dependent and injury-dependent ultrastructural cortical plasticity under Dr. Theresa Jones. After graduation, she completed her medical degree at Harvard Medical School and simultaneously obtained a Masters of Arts in Medical Anthropology with Dr. Arthur Kleinman at Harvard University. Dr. Chu-Shore has always been interested in the impact of the environment and disease on human biology and her interests naturally led her to the field of Pediatric Neurology. Dr. Chu-Shore completed her child neurology training at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). In 2008, she completed a post-doctoral research year with Dr. Elizabeth Thiele, an international expert in tuberous sclerosis complex and infantile spasms. In 2009, Dr. Chu-Shore joined the laboratory of Dr. Sydney Cash, an expert in computational neurophysiology and network analysis. She completed a combination epilepsy and neurophysiology fellowship at MGH. In 2010, Dr. Chu-Shore joined the staff at MGH in the Pediatric Neurology and Neurophysiology Programs. Dr. Chu-Shore’s work so far includes 8 peer-reviewed publications and 3 book chapters.
Dr. Chu-Shore’s research interests are in pediatric epilepsy and developmental neurophysiology. She is particularly interested in further understanding the impact of abnormal neurophysiology on neurodevelopment. In this regard, she is interested in studying epileptic encephalopathies, conditions in which the epileptic discharges are thought to contribute to the development of permanent cognitive deficits, even in the absence of overt seizures. Dr. Chu-Shore is interested in using a complex systems approach and applying network measures to functional connectivity maps derived from electroencephalography (EEG) recordings. For these studies, Dr. Chu-Shore collaborates with a multidisciplinary team of investigators.
The Child Neurology Foundation Infantile Spasms Award will help Dr. Chu-Shore conduct a study on the effects of the neurophysiological abnormalities that are present in infantile spasms (hypsarrhythmia pattern on EEG) on the immediate and long-term functional connectivity networks that are simultaneously maturing in the infant brain. The goal of this work is to identify early metrics of altered brain connectivity which can serve as biomarkers for prognostication and treatment stratification for infants with this often devastating epilepsy syndrome. This work will serve to help understand how abnormal neurophysiological activity during a critical period may affect normal physiological neurodevelopment. Furthermore, the techniques developed may ultimately be applied to a broad range of pediatric neurological syndromes in which neurodevelopmental outcome can vary dramatically but for which there are no useful biomarkers
“I am very grateful for the Child Neurology Foundation Infantile Spasms Award. This award provides me with the opportunity to develop my career as a physician scientist and better understand the mechanisms of pediatric neurologic disease and their impact on functional neurodevelopment.”
Child Neurology Foundation
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