About Veronica Hood

Dr. Hood joined the DSF staff in 2020. She has an MS in Biology from East Tennessee State University and a PhD in Cell, Stem Cell, and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado. She spent 10 years in laboratory settings researching how small changes in genetic and molecular regulation contribute to complex neurological diseases. In 2007, Veronica had a son, Gabriel, who faced severe developmental challenges. Gabriel presented with initial seizure activity within his first two months of life, and his medical needs quickly became quite complex. Despite endless testing, a diagnosis remained elusive, and at the age of 8, Gabriel passed away. These experiences fueled Veronica’s passion to advance medical research and shaped her desire to support other families facing similar challenges. She hopes to apply her scientific knowledge and her understanding of the caregiver experience to support the Dravet community by facilitating Dravet-focused research and acting as a liaison between researchers, professionals, and families.

Surgery & Procedures in Dravet Syndrome

By |2021-08-25T09:41:06-05:00August 27th, 2021|Categories: Decoding Dravet Blog|

Patients with Dravet syndrome often require a surgery or other invasive procedure at some point in their life. While there are no specific surgical procedures that are specifically required due to the diagnosis of Dravet syndrome, there are some procedures that occur more commonly, including: feeding tube placement (i.e., g-tube, j-tube), VNS (vagus nerve stimulator) [...]

Dravet Syndrome and COVID-19 Vaccination

By |2021-08-13T01:15:21-05:00August 13th, 2021|Categories: Decoding Dravet Blog|

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, vaccination has become a major tool in combating the spread and mitigating the symptomatic infections caused by the novel coronavirus. Vaccination can be a topic of particular concern for individuals with Dravet syndrome (DS) and their families given that vaccines are a common seizure trigger in this disorder. Early childhood [...]

Is epilepsy surgery for seizure control an option for individuals with Dravet syndrome?

By |2021-07-28T14:20:32-05:00July 30th, 2021|Categories: Decoding Dravet Blog|

DSF has received many questions about epilepsy surgery for patients with Dravet syndrome recently. If this is something you are considering for your child, it is crucial to know your options and to learn more about what we currently know regarding surgery for patients with Dravet syndrome. It is important to remember that every patient’s [...]

Gene Therapy for Dravet Syndrome

By |2021-03-26T00:49:10-05:00March 26th, 2021|Categories: Decoding Dravet Blog|

While three new medications have come to market for Dravet syndrome in the past several years, only a portion of patients achieve adequate seizure control. Even for those who experience longer periods of seizure-freedom, the other comorbidities of Dravet syndrome greatly impact quality of life for individuals as well as their families. Therapeutically targeting [...]

Review of: Enhancing glucose metabolism via gluconeogenesis is therapeutic in a zebrafish model of Dravet syndrome

By |2021-03-24T09:16:38-05:00March 24th, 2021|Categories: DSF Research Review|Tags: , , , |

Banerji et al (2021) recently published a manuscript in Brain Communications describing their investigation of metabolic pathways in a zebrafish model of Dravet syndrome. Previous studies had described metabolic deficits in Dravet syndrome generally related to decreased energetic output. The ketogenic diet remains one of the more successful therapies for seizure reduction in Dravet syndrome, [...]

Natural History Study of Children with Dravet Syndrome Begins

By |2021-03-21T22:40:48-05:00March 19th, 2021|Categories: Decoding Dravet Blog|

The first patient was just enrolled in ENVISION, a natural history study being conducted by Encoded Therapeutics. There are 7 recruiting study sites, including one in Australia, and two additional sites are currently being added. The study does not provide any interventions, but rather is an observational study that follows children with Dravet syndrome [...]

New Study of Dravet Syndrome in Adult Patients

By |2021-03-12T01:20:42-05:00March 12th, 2021|Categories: Decoding Dravet Blog|

Dr. Danielle Andrade, an adult neurologist who is an expert in Dravet syndrome (DS), is currently conducting a study of adults with DS to improve the understanding of seizures, symptoms, comorbidities, and daily life as patients age. Part of the study is examining patients that visit Dr. Andrade’s clinic at the University of Toronto, [...]

Dravet Syndrome has New Diagnostic Codes

By |2021-03-11T15:56:29-05:00March 5th, 2021|Categories: Decoding Dravet Blog|

New ICD-10 codes are now in effect for Dravet syndrome. Previously, a patient diagnosed with Dravet syndrome would be entered into the medical coding system under a non-specific epilepsy code that did not fully represent the spectrum of medical needs for an individual with Dravet syndrome. The Dravet Syndrome Foundation worked with our Medical Advisory [...]

SUDEP: Education, Research, and Prevention

By |2021-01-29T10:36:44-05:00January 29th, 2021|Categories: Decoding Dravet Blog|

Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is a topic that brings up difficult and complex emotions, and, as such, it often goes undiscussed. However, talking about SUDEP can empower families with awareness and preventative strategies, literally helping to save lives. Additionally, increased education surrounding SUDEP lends itself to advocacy efforts to advance research and end [...]

Why be cautious about sharing personal experiences in an active clinical trial?

By |2021-01-22T13:58:13-05:00January 22nd, 2021|Categories: Decoding Dravet Blog|

With so many clinical trials for Dravet syndrome actively enrolling, it is an important time to consider the impacts that talking about experiences in an ongoing trial can have on the outcomes. If you are participating in a clinical trial and observing particularly profound changes following treatment, it can be quite tempting to share that [...]

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