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Brain P-gp and Inflammation in People with Epilepsy

See All Epilepsy Trials

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health, is looking for individuals to participate in clinical studies. Participating in clinical trials allows you to play an active role in research on the nature and causes of many disorders of the brain and nervous system, and to possibly help physician-scientists develop future treatments. The information below is designed to help you quickly learn about actively recruiting research studies for which you or someone you know may be eligible.


The purpose of this study (12-N-0182) is to discover if a brain protein called P-glycoprotein, or P-gp, differs in people with epilepsy who do not respond well to medication as compared to people whose epilepsy is well-controlled with medication.  The study also seeks to discover if inflammation is present in the part of the brain affected by epilepsy.

The brain is protected by the blood-brain barrier which keeps toxins out.  Sometimes the blood-brain barrier also keeps medications from reaching the brain.  P-gp is part of the blood-brain barrier.  Previous research has shown that the level of P-gp is higher in people with epilepsy than in people without epilepsy.  Different levels of P-gp may explain why some people who have seizures do not respond to anti-epileptic medications.  It is also possible that epilepsy maybe associated with inflammation in the brain.

Seventy-five people (age 18 to 60 years) with and without epilepsy will participate in this study.  The study will include a screening evaluation, blood sample, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography (PET) scans.  Healthy volunteers will have two PET scans and volunteers with epilepsy will have three PET scans.

The study requires four outpatient study visits for healthy volunteers and five outpatient visits for participants with epilepsy—over a one year period.  Each visit will last two to five hours.  All study visits will take place at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD.

Eligibility Criteria:

Please follow this link for trial eligibility information to share with your doctor.

Study Design: 


Study Locations: 

Bethesda, Maryland

For more information:

Contact: Tamika Mason, Tel: 301-496-1923, Email:; or Irene Dustin, Tel: 301-451-9284, Email:; or visit:

Last Reviewed February 3, 2015