HAYWARD, Calif., Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOR) announced that it is again partnering with the Child Neurology Foundation (CNF) to fund a $30,000 grant to support research into infantile spasms. Dr. Alex R. Paciorkowski of the University of Rochester Medical Center was selected by CNF as the recipient of its annual "Infantile Spasms Research Award."
"Questcor has an ongoing commitment to CNF and the entire infantile spasms community," said Steve Cartt, Chief Operating Officer for Questcor. "Further research into this devastating condition is imperative and we feel strongly about supporting initiatives that will advance the knowledge and treatment of infantile spasms."
Dr. Paciorkowski, whose application was reviewed by 10 of the nation's top child neurologists and then selected by the CNF Board of Directors, said he is focusing on genetic research related to infantile spasms.
"From the first English description by Dr. William James West in 1841, infantile spasms have posed a series of challenges for medical science," Dr. Paciorkowski said. "We are still far from understanding the causes and optimal treatment of infantile spasms in many children."He continued, "The Infantile Spasms Registry & Genetic Studies starts with the hypothesis that clearer understanding of the causes of infantile spasms should one day lead to the development of more effective therapies. In many patients, infantile spasms are due to mutations in genes that are important for patterning of the developing brain. From this observation, other genes that also cause infantile spasms may be 'neighbors' in the genetic blueprints that direct development of the brain. Finding these genes may lead to discovery of genetic pathways that in the future may be treatable with medicines – and help stop seizures sooner and with fewer side-effects. Using bioinformatics combined with next-generation sequencing, this work proposes to identify new genes and new pathways involved in infantile spasms. We have put together a highly collaborative international team of child neurologists, geneticists, and epilepsy experts. Our goal is to improve the care of children with infantile spasms by increasing the knowledge of the biology underlying this serious form of epilepsy."