Memory: autoimmune factors in epilepsy

Neuropediatrics, Volume 20, pages 93-102, 1989

It is very satisfying to receive almost weekly notifications from Doximity that my neurology research has been cited and relied upon. This incudes recent citations in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings and British Medical Journal. The fact that that I did this work many years ago is particularly satisfying—all this hard effort is still having an effect in advancing medical research.

In today’s mail I received a copy of Neurology. It is published by the American Academy of Neurology and is the most widely read neurology/neurobiology journal in the world. There is a report of the possible effectiveness of an immune modifying medicine to treat patients with refractory epilepsy who do not have an underlying autoimmune disorder.

In 1987, at the University of Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, I launched an investigation looking for evidence of autoimmune factors playing a role in childhood neurologic diseases. I studied blood samples from 348 children, 121 of whom had epilepsy. As in the today’s report, none of the epilepsy children had an underlying immune disorder.

The techniques available to me were very crude in comparison to what is available today—Western blots of human cerebral tissue. Nevertheless, I found a significantly higher incidence of anti-brain immunoreactivity in children with epilepsy that was not explained by seizure type, seizure frequency or medications used. My results suggested that some forms of childhood epilepsy may be treated with immune-modifying medications.

In reviewing this publication and the research that I did 34 years ago, I was stunned by the quality of the investigations and analyses that I had performed. Looking back, it is not surprising that at the time my report was cited in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Review the past.


Memory has been a major focus of my artistic investigations over these past several decades. This is just one more memory trace, one more artistic expression.

This entry was posted in Neoconceptual Art.