Sleep and Epilepsy

The association between epilepsy and the sleep/wake cycle is well known. The Circadian Locomotor Output Cycles Kaput (CLOCK) transcription factor plays a key role in this relationship. We are studying how CLOCK function changes in epilepsy and the ways that this can affect both sleep and seizures.

Circuit Changes in Epilepsy

Some types of epilepsy are associated with changes in neurons that occur after seizures. The growth of abnormal  axons or “sprouting” of axons in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus is a well-characterized change that occurs in epilepsy.  We study how the cytoskeleton contributes to axon sprouting in epilepsy.


We are collaborating with with Dr. Stephen Helfand to understand how the citrate transporter SLC13A5 is related to epilepsy. Patients with a deficiency in SLC13A5 have seizures within days of being born. Dysfunction in the plasma membrane citrate transporter encoded by this gene causes this newly diagnosed form of infantile epileptic encephalopathy. Our goal is to understand the role of this plasma membrane citrate transporter in neuronal and glial cell types. For more information see the

Dr. Eric Morrow

Dr. Sofia Lizarraga