Dr. Jorge Burneo to lead research for the Ontario Brain Institute

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The three new projects are the first initiatives to be supported through the Institute and will help children and adults affected by:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and Intellectual Disability
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Epilepsy

Along with supporting more than 80 research positions, the projects will also provide valuable training to medical and academic professionals and are expected to result in economic opportunities through the commercialization of discoveries.

Dr. Jorge Burneo of Clinical Neurological Sciences at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry is a lead researcher in the "Epilepsy Discovery Project - New Approaches to Intractable Epilepsy." He and Dr. W. McIntyre Burnham of the University of Toronto will head up a group of 24 other researchers.

Epilepsy is the second most common neurological condition worldwide after headaches. 76,000 people in Ontario are affected, along with 50 million people worldwide. 30 percent of persons with epilepsy cannot be helped by drugs.

This comprehensive study will conduct research, working with companies and patient groups, to improve the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy through innovative therapies - including drug and gene-related therapies; and by optimizing medical diet, surgery and, deep brain stimulation.

An unprecedented collaboration between Ontario's premier academic researchers and doctors, not-for-profit epilepsy organizations and the private sector, the project will advance epilepsy care from diagnosis to treatment, improving the lives of patients and their families, and establishing Ontario's place as a world-class focal point for epilepsy research and patient care.