Kirsi Mikkonen ja Tarja Linnankivi

Kirsi Mikkonen
HUS, Lasten ja nuorten sairaudet

Progress in the study of infantile epilepsy

Kirsi Mikkonen and Tarja Linnankivi, who are specialized in pediatric neurology, examine epilepsy with onset during the first year of children’s lives, its causes and its effects on the children’s development. The research aims to produce new information on the ability to anticipate or prevent the onset of epilepsy in high-risk infants.

The research group consists of experts in pediatric neurology, clinical neurophysiology, neonatology, ophthalmology, radiology, molecular genetics and pediatric neuropsychology. The group is also involved in national and international cooperation.
The first part of the project was launched in 2017.

Researchers will monitor children who developed epilepsy in their infancy until the age of two years. The potential genetic cause of epilepsy is examined using the latest research methods. Researchers monitor the development of infants and search for new methods which could be used to identify the children with development-related risks at a very early stage. The study also produces information on the prevalence of adverse effects on the visual field caused by vigabatrin medication.

Can a serious illness be prevented?

Tarja Linnankivi
HUS, Lasten ja nuorten sairaudet

The project examining the prevention of infantile spasms was launched in 2018. In the project, children will be monitored until the age of seven.

– We perform EEG examinations to monitor the electrical activity of the brain in children who are known to have an increased risk of developing infantile spasms. We will examine whether the onset of the infantile spasms can be prevented by means of vigabatrin medication and whether preventive treatment improves the subsequent development of these children. We will also determine whether vision-related adverse effects can be detected in the school-age children who received vigabatrin treatment in their infancy, the researchers explain.

Contact details

Kirsi Mikkonen
Helsinki University Hospital / Pediatric Neurology
kirsi.h.mikkonen(a)hus.fi

Tarja Linnankivi
Helsinki University Hospital / Pediatric Neurology
tarja.linnankivi(a)hus.fi