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Veronica Hood, PhD

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.

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Genetic Therapy for Dravet Syndrome: 2022 State of the Field

When the Dravet Syndrome Foundation was established in 2009, there were no specific treatments for patients with Dravet syndrome and limited guidelines on best treatment approaches. Despite the known genetic cause for the majority of cases, mutations in SCN1A, the idea of a genetic-based therapy seemed a distant possibility at that time. Things have changed …

Genetic Therapy for Dravet Syndrome: 2022 State of the Field Read More »

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Stiripentol (DIACOMIT): History and New Expanded Approval

In July of this year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of stiripentol (DIACOMIT) for patients with Dravet syndrome aged 6 months and older and taking clobazam (1). Previously, stiripentol was approved for patients aged 2 years and older in the US, which meant there could be a delay in access …

Stiripentol (DIACOMIT): History and New Expanded Approval Read More »

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Preclinical Development of a Gene Therapy for Dravet Syndrome

A recent publication from Tanenhaus et al details the preclinical work by Encoded Therapeutics that has led to the development of a potential gene regulation therapy for Dravet syndrome. The study, published in the journal Human Gene Therapy in June, shows proof-of-concept that their approach, ETX101, can be delivered to the correct cells in the …

Preclinical Development of a Gene Therapy for Dravet Syndrome Read More »

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2022 DSF Family & Professional Conference Recap

The Dravet Syndrome Foundation (DSF) held a Family & Professional Conference in Fort Worth, Texas on June 23-25 of 2022 in collaboration with Dr. Scott Perry and Cook Children’s Medical Center. DSF generally holds these conferences every 2 years, although due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has not been an in-person conference since 2018. Needless …

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Article Recap: Quality of Life in Genetic DEEs

In today’s blog we are recapping a recent publication by Cohen et al that reported the results of a study aimed at better understanding the relationship between quality of life and other measures of health and well-being in individuals with severe genetic developmental epilepsies (called developmental and epileptic encephalopathies, or “DEEs”). The Dravet Syndrome Foundation …

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How to Read a Scientific Paper; Part 3: Critical Assessment

Today’s blog post was created in collaboration with Tanya Brown, PhD the Science Director for TESS Research Foundation and was cross-posted to the Science Simplified Blog. In our last two blog posts in this series we covered the structure of a research article (Part 1) and tips for critically reading a research article (Part 2). …

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Phase 3 Trials for Soticlestat Begin

What is soticlestat? Soticlestat is an investigational medication that is currently in Phase 3 trials for the treatment of seizures in Dravet syndrome (1). Soticlestat works differently than any other current anti-seizure medications. Soticlestat blocks a molecule called ‘cholesterol 24-hydroxylase’ or ‘CH24H’, an important part of the pathway that processes cholesterol in the brain (2). …

Phase 3 Trials for Soticlestat Begin Read More »

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Seizure Rescue Medications: The Options Continue to Expand

The last several years have been an exciting time for the development of new options for seizure rescue medications. Some of the biggest advancements have not necessarily been new medications, but new ways to deliver the medications that might enable patients and their families to choose an option that works best for their situation. What …

Seizure Rescue Medications: The Options Continue to Expand Read More »

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