Dr. Kenneth Myers, MD, PhD, FRCPC
– Paediatric Neurology – Mc Gill University Healthcare System, Montreal, Quebec
Dr. Myers is awarded $5,000.00 by Dravet Canada for his project entitled “Can Treatment reduce SUDEP Risk in Dravet Syndrome?”
This project will investigate whether heart rate variability (HRV), a recently proposed sign of SUDEP risk in DS, can be modified with specific treatments. Heart rate variability is an index of autonomic function, reflecting the balance between parasympathetic and sympathetic activity. Altered HRV was shown to be predictive of mortality in patients with cardiac disease more than 40 years ago, but more recently has become a topic of interest in epilepsy. Patients with epilepsy have lower HRV in wakefulness, and higher
HRV in sleep, when compared to healthy controls. HRV derangements may be even more dramatic in
patients with Dravet Syndrome, a sub group of people with epilepsy who are at a higher risk of
SUDEP. This finding is especially exciting as HRV derangements may be a modifiable SUDEP risk.