Seizures are linked to brain inflammation:
Resected brain tissue from epilepsy patients shows the presence of inflammatory cells such as macrophages and activated T cells.
Our novel, patent-pending diagnostic blood test, CNS-specific Assay for Recurrent Paroxysmal Events (CARPE), is comprised of plasma inflammatory markers and builds on recent research that has established brain inflammation as a critical factor in the pathophysiology of recurrent seizures. CARPE measures a combination of sICAM5, an anti-inflammatory CNS origin protein, and TARC, a lymphocyte chemoattractor that we have found in consistently high concentrations in epilepsy patients. In published data collected from the University of Pennsylvania, CARPE precisely separated patients with known recurrent seizures from normal controls.
Proof of concept studies
Based on a series of recent studies demonstrating the presence and expression of proinflammatory cytokines in brain tissue surgically removed from epilepsy patients, Dr. Pollard and Dr. Crino began a search for systemic indicators of brain inflammation in epilepsy patients. The overarching hypothesis was that seizures cause a release or change in expression of select proinflammatory cytokines from the brain that can be measured in the peripheral blood. Drs. Pollard and Crino further hypothesized that these changes would be phasic and correlate with individual seizures. In a recently published paper examining a cohort of 20 epilepsy patients, Pollard and colleagues used high-resolution automated capture ELISA to detect and quantify several thousand cytokines in plasma from epilepsy patients and control subjects. They found that the relative abundances of TARC and sICAM5 could fully distinguish these two patient populations: