Dr. Haydon landed at Tufts School of Medicine in 2008. He is considered a leader in the study of neuron-glial interactions, having discovered in 1994 that the central nervous system’s glial cells respond to chemicals, and in doing so, release other chemicals that can activate neurons.
Haydon’s lab has published papers showing how glial cells change during epilepsy and how perturbing them in certain ways limits the number of seizures an animal will have. “One of the questions now is whether glia respond to a primary pathology elsewhere,” Haydon said, “or if they can be the primary pathology that leads to epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and other brain disorders.”
During the SailForEpilepsy program he will be flying a Tufts University School of Medicine flag to raise awareness and money for epilepsy research—about 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy and 1/3rd of patients do not have their seizures controlled by current medications. A percentage of all online and corporate donations will go directly to the Tufts School of Medicine for research into the basic causes of epilepsy. From this work, the goal is to identify new causes for epilepsy to set the stage for discovery of the next pharmaceuticals designed for those patients who are currently treatment resistant.