Science Writing

Why I write?

Most, if not all, funding for basic science comes from taxpayer’s money. Hence, scientists have an obligation to communicate their science to the public in a way that is clear and concise, but never condescending or over-simplified.

If you want a scientific paper to be explained in non-scientific terms, contact me at Sloka@SlokaIyengar.com.

 

www.epilepsy.com

www.epilepsy.com is the premier website for patients with epilepsy and their caregivers. As the editor of the basic science section, I write about basic epilepsy research in nonscientific terms. Take a look at my articles below! If you would like to write about epilepsy research for nonscientists, email Sloka@SlokaIyengar.com to submit articles.

 

December 22, 2016

This article is about the role of executive functioning in the quality of life in pediatric intractable epilepsy.

December 15, 2016

This article reviews ictal bradyarrhythmias and asystole requiring pacemaker implantation, and its relation to SUDEP (sudden unexplained death in epilepsy).

November 2, 2016

This article is the last of a four part series about catamenial epilepsy, and reviews recent studies.

October 24, 2016

This article is the third of a four part series about catamenial epilepsy, and reviews how catamenial epilepsy is studied in the lab.

October 19, 2016

This article is the second of a four part series about catamenial epilepsy, and examines possible underlying mechanisms.

October 12, 2016

This article is the first of a four part series about catamenial epilepsy, a gender-specific type of epilepsy in which seizure frequency intensifies during certain phases of the menstrual cycle.

July 20, 2016

This article gives ideas about possible causes and brain changes in people with autism spectrum disorder and epilepsy.

July 13, 2016

In this article, I compiled a summary of basic science research in the field of epilepsy.

June 22, 2016

In this article, I review the interaction of antidepressants and epilepsy.

June 8, 2016

In this article, I review the use of stem cell therapy for epilepsy.

April 22, 2016

The podcast linked here discusses Sturge Weber syndrome.

March 23, 2016

In this article, I summarized the process of immunohistochemistry and its utility in basic epilepsy research.

March 23, 2016

Epilepsy and autism can occur together quite frequently. In this article, I talk about a new model to study this phenomenon.

February 10, 2016

In this article, I summarize an article that suggests a possible link between inflammation and febrile seizures.

November 15, 2015

This article suggests that brain tumor related epilepsy could be better managed using intercranial EEG.

October 14, 2015

This article discusses a potential new therapy for neonatal seizures.

September 29, 2015

Depression and epilepsy can exist together quite often. An article written by Dr. Alisha Epps and edited by me talks about new research that can shed light on depression comorbid with epilepsy.

September 23, 2015

This article reviews the basic science of EEG.

July 8, 2015

In an article and podcast, I talk about basic science in epilepsy, why one might choose to spend time working with experimental rodents and what we can gain from this basic research.

March 25, 2015

Benzodiazepines are considered as the first line of treatment for status epilepticus, but they may lose effectiveness during the progression of SE. In this article written by Dr. Denise Grosenbaugh and edited by me, the role of stiripentol for status epilepticus was investigated.

February 11, 2015

Epilepsy is rather common in people with brain tumors. Read more to find out where research stands in the field of brain tumor-related epilepsy.

December 30, 2014

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) can be effective in some refractory cases of epilepsy. This article investigates the mechanism by which DBS can act to reduce seizures.

December 10, 2014

In this study, scientists discover a novel target for anti-epileptic drugs.

September 24, 2014

Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) is a rare form of epilepsy that is characterized by multiple seizure types, cognitive deficits and spike-and-wave complexes on the EEG. Read more about the role of the ketogenic diet in LGS here.

September 24, 2014

Febrile seizures usually occur in children and are associated with a rise in the body temperature. Read more about if MRI can be a biomarker for febrile seizures.

September 17, 2014

A meeting to understand mechanisms underlying mortality in people with epilepsy was held in Minneapolis from June 19-22. Read more about the meeting here.

July 23, 2014

Read this article to find out if statins could be useful in epilepsy. This article was reprinted in the September 2014 Epilepsy South Africa Newsletter.

July 16, 2014

Find out what can cause febrile seizures.

June 4, 2014

Find out where research stands on discovering a biomarker for epilepsy.

May 21, 2014

Read more to find out how scientists use zebrafish to find novel therapies for epilepsy

April 23, 2014

One of the causes of mortality in subjects with epilepsy is SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death with Epilepsy). A reason why this could be the case is that subjects with epilepsy can have cardiac dysfunction as well. Read more to find out more about cardiac dysfunction in epilepsy.

March 28, 2014

Dravet syndrome (DS), also known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy (SMEI), is a form of catastrophic epilepsy with a bleak prognosis. Read more to find out new research for Dravet Syndrome.

February 19, 2014

Read here to find out what scientists are finding out about absence seizures.

January 29, 2014

Scientists find a novel mutation that could cause febrile seizures.

International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE)

The International League Against Epilepsy is an organization dedicated to promote education about epilepsy worldwide. I have covered these topics for the basic science section of ILAE:

  1. Interfering with the Chronic Immune Response Rescues Chronic Degeneration After Traumatic Brain Injury.
  2. Tight Coupling of Astrocyte pH Dynamics to Epileptiform Activity Revealed by Genetically Encoded pH Sensors.
  3. Multiscale aspects of generation of high-gamma activity during seizures in human neocortex.
  4. Adenosine kinase, glutamine synthetase and EAAT2 as gene therapy targets for temporal lobe epilepsy.
  5. Targeting pharmacoresistant epilepsy and epileptogenesis with a dual-purpose antiepileptic drug.
  6. Tau reduction prevents disease in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome.
  7. The ketogenic diet is an effective adjuvant to radiation therapy for the treatment of malignant glioma.
  8. A novel anticonvulsant mechanism via inhibition of complement receptor C5ar1 in murine epilepsy model.
  9. Bumetanide reduces seizure progression and the development of pharmacoresistant status epilepticus.
  10. Astrocyte uncoupling as a cause of human temporal lobe epilepsy.
  11. Relation between stress-precipitated seizures and the stress response in childhood epilepsy.
  12. Ketogenic diet exhibits anti-inflammatory properties.
  13. The Glycine transporter 1 as a potential target for the treatment of epilepsy.
  14. The role of microglial Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in an electrical rat post-status epilepticus model of epileptogenesis.
  15. The epileptogenic effects of N-methyl D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antibodies in a passive transfer mouse model.
  16. Treatment during a vulnerable developmental period rescues a form of genetic epilepsy.
  17. Postictal immobility and generalized EEG suppression are associated with the severity of respiratory dysfunction.

NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center

FACES (Finding A Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures) is affiliated with the NYU School of Medicine and the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, and provides comprehensive care to people with epilepsy and their caregivers. Below are the articles I’ve written for FACES.

 

September 2016

In this article, I examine what people know about epilepsy.

May 2016

In this article, I review what we know about febrile seizures.

April 2016

In this article, I write about recent advances in Dravet Syndrome.

March 2016

In this article, I examine the link between epilepsy and depression.

Dec 2015/ Jan 2016

In this article, I write about high frequency oscillations (HFOs) and what they might mean in the epileptic brain.

October 2015

I write about a certain kind of glial cell called microglia, and how ‘activated’ microglia might play a role in seizure generation and spread.

September 2015

In this article, I talk about the Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) and its usefulness in epilepsy.

May 2015

Most anti-epileptic drugs focus on neurons. New evidence shows the role of glia in epilepsy, which I write about in this article.

April 2015

In this article, I write about the science behind epilepsy and depression.

March 2015

In this article, I write about the role of the hippocampus in epilepsy.

November 2014

Here, I talk about what we know about refractory epilepsy.

September 2014

In this article, I recap the PAME (Partners Against Mortality in Epilepsy) meeting that was held in Minneapolis in June 2014.

May 2014

Here, I write a short article about temporal lobe epilepsy. I also provide a recap of the NYU Neuroscience Retreat.

April 2014

In this article, I write about seizures and brain tumors.

March 2014

Here, I talk about the common myths regarding epilepsy, as well as epilepsy first-aid.

February 2014

In this article, I provide an overview of the 2013 American Epilepsy Society Meeting.

January 2014

Read more about SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy) and what scientists are doing to understand SUDEP better.

Nathan Kline Institute

I did my postdoctoral fellowship at the Nathan Kline Institute, where I also wrote for the newsletter – ‘NKI Informer’. Here are my articles:

 

August 2014

I interviewed a postdoctoral fellow at NKI and talked to her about her most recent paper that investigated the effect of quality of maternal care on the development of the brain and behavior.

April 2014

For this edition, I wrote about the NYU Community Brain Fair held to celebrate Brain Awareness Week.

December 2013

For this edition, I interviewed a scientist who studies Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) at NKI.

October 2013

In this article, I summarized a networking session that I attended as part of NYU Postdoctoral Appreciation Week.

August 2013

In this article, I interviewed a fellow students and trainees to discuss the challenges female scientists have to face while balancing a family and career.

June 2013

A festschrift for Philip Schwartzkroin – a famed epilepsy researcher - was held in Monterrey where his students and trainees celebrated his work and his contributions to the field of epilepsy. In this article, I recapitulated the meeting.

Weill Cornell Epilepsy Center

Below is an article I wrote for the Weill Cornell Epilepsy Center.

 

Spring 2014

In this article, I summarize the effects of anti-epileptic drugs on children born to women with epilepsy.

Science Recorder

Science Recorder is an online magazine that presents breaking news on all things science

 

June 29, 2014

In this article, I wrote about the role of transcranial magnetic stimulation in refractory depression.

Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group

At the Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group, I wrote several articles for the newsletter and managed the social media page.

 

September 2015

I interviewed a neurologist about the use of vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) for children and another article about Safety helmets that people with epilepsy can use.

June 2015

For this issue of the newsletter, I interviewed a neurologist about the Sturge Weber syndrome and another article about a Safety product called Handmade by Heroes.

March 17, 2015

I wrote an in-depth article about the basic science behind refractory epilepsy and another article about Captureproof – a medical software designed to make the lives of people with epilepsy easier and safer.

December 16, 2014

For this issue, I wrote an article about what to do in case of a seizure emergency. I also wrote an article about Seizure Tracker –a tool that combines seizure history, details about anti-epileptic drug (AED) therapy, changes in AED dosages, doctor appointments and other daily notes in one platform.

September 15, 2014

There’s much confusion about generic anti-epileptic medication. In this article, I interviewed an epileptologist about generic anti-epileptic drugs. I also wrote an article about an organization called 4Paws for Ability - a nonprofit organization places service dogs with children who have disabilities and veterans who have unfortunately lost their sense of vision or hearing.

June 14, 2014

The first article I wrote for this issue was about complementary and alternative medicines for epilepsy. I also interviewed the first patient to have ever undergone the Visualase Laser Ablation Technology procedure at The Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group for treatment of his epilepsy.

March 13, 2014

I wrote an article about the usefulness of the ketogenic diet (a very high-fat and very low-carbohydrate diet) in epilepsy.

Navigating epilepsy

Navigating epilepsy is a comprehensive resource for an array of support and life-improvement opportunities for people diagnosed with epilepsy and their caregivers.

In this article, I write about specific issues that can be observed in women with epilepsy.

In this article, I write about the annual American Epilepsy Society meeting.

I also wrote about safety tips that people with epilepsy should keep in mind.

Academics for the Future of Science

In June 2016, I wrote an article for Academics for the Future of Science (AFS) on what it's like to lobby for science.

Neuroscience for Kids

Neuroscience for Kids is a resource for all students and teachers who would like to learn about the nervous system. I wrote an article about the Zika virus for the Neuroscience for Kids website.

SciPhD

I took a course at NYU called ‘Business of Science’ offered by SciPhD. For the SciPhD website, I reviewed a book that suggests why contrary to popular belief, being a genuinely helpful person may help advance one’s career.

Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance

Tuberous sclerosis complex is a genetic disorder that may be associated with seizures. The Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance aims to promote education and research about tuberous sclerosis complex.

 

September 2016

I summarized a study indicating that resection of ictal high frequency oscillations is associated with favorable surgical outcome in pediatric drug resistant epilepsy secondary to tuberous sclerosis complex.

May 2016

I reviewed a study indicating that reduced levels of CD47 and CD200 proteins in patients with focal cortical dysplasia type IIb (FCD IIb) and tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) may contribute to inflammation and subsequent seizures.

February 2016

I summarized a study that looks at abnormalities in dendrites in tuberous sclerosis.

March 2015

Research that shows that MRI-guided laser ablation may be able to reduce seizures in difficult-to-treat refractory epilepsy cases.

December 2014

In this study, researchers show how mutations in TSC gene interacts with mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) to cause imbalance in excitation / inhibition balance. Perhaps this is a reason why subjects with TSC can have seizures.

June 2014

I wrote about a study that shows that everolimus may be a safe and effective treatment option for individuals who do not respond to treatment with the usual anti-epileptic drug therapies.

NYU School Of Medicine Infocus Magazine

 

August 2014

In this article, I write about the Clinical Research Data Management Resource center at NYU Langone Medical Center.

April 2014

In this article, I wrote about the Annual Retreat hosted by the NYU Neuroscience Institute.

Hope for Hypothalamic Hamartomas

I am putting together two articles for the Hope for Hypothalamic Hamartomas website, one about using focused ultrasound to treat patients with epilepsy, and another about gene variations in hypothalamic hamartomas.

The Open Medicine Foundation

I am helping to develop a document for The Open Medicine Foundation, to give donors information about an important autism trial where a drug called suramin was used to treat children with autism. The hope is that with more resources, scientists can proceed to do a larger, preferably multi center trial.

Other

  1. This is a press release for Epilepsy Currents, a journal published by the American Epilepsy Society.
  2. In this article, I summarized the potential mechanisms underlying bipolar disorder.
  3. In this article, I reviewed conditions that may accompany epilepsy.
  4. In this article, I wrote about data privacy in clinical research.
  5. This article from www.seizurefree.org discusses absence seizures.
  6. In this article, I wrote about the possible role of adult neurogenesis in the comorbidity of autism-spectrum disorders that may be seen in people with epilepsy.
  7. In this article, I suggest that glia may not be all that passive after all in epilepsy.
  8. In this article, I summarized an investigation into brain region specific gene networks regulating depression.
  9. In this article, I summarized a paper about genetic transcription in the investigation of depression.