Dr. Theodore Schwartz Awarded NIH Grant for Epilepsy Laser Treatment Research

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Dr. Theodore Schwartz

Neurosurgeon Dr. Theodore Schwartz, along with Dr. Chris Schaffer of Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca, has received a prestigious 2-year NIH grant to lead research on ground-breaking laser treatments for epilepsy. In his lab at the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center, Dr. Schwartz will use a femtosecond laser on animal models to make microscopic incisions in portions of the brain in hopes to prevent epileptic seizures yet preserve function.

The goal of the research will be to determine which cortical layers should be cut and in what geometric pattern in order to stop the seizures from occurring without affecting normal brain function. Side effects of the various experimental cuts will be recorded. The study will provide valuable information about the specific locations in the brain to be treated and the treatment's long-term effectiveness. If the long-term outcome of the animal models proves successful, then the treatment will be deemed suitable for humans, opening the door to novel treatments for epilepsy.

More about Dr. Schwartz's epilepsy lab