Mom Earns PhD to Research Daughter's Rare Seizures, Discovers Effective Treatment

Determined mom earns PhD to research her daughter's rare epilepsy, discovers treatment that reduces seizures by 95%, inspiring others facing similar challenges.

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Mom Earns PhD to Research Daughter's Rare Seizures, Discovers Effective Treatment

Mom Earns PhD to Research Daughter's Rare Seizures, Discovers Effective Treatment

Tracy Dixon-Salazar, a dedicated mom took an extraordinary step to help her daughter Savannah, who started experiencing frequent and intense seizures at the age of 2. Frustrated by the lack of clear information and effective treatment options from doctors, Dixon-Salazar decided to pursue a PhD in neurobiology to research her daughter's condition herself.

Savannah was eventually diagnosed with epilepsy and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy characterized by frequent seizures and developmental delays. Determined to find answers, Dixon-Salazar started a 12-year educational journey, earning an associate degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and ultimately a PhD in neurobiology.

Through her research, Dixon-Salazar made a groundbreaking discovery. She found that Savannah had calcium channel mutations, which were causing her seizures. Armed with this knowledge, she shared the information with Savannah's doctors, who prescribed a calcium blocker medication. The results were remarkable - within two weeks, Savannah's seizures were reduced by 95%, a significant improvement that has lasted for 11 years.

Why this matters: Dixon-Salazar's story highlights the power of a mother's love and the importance of patient advocacy in the face of complex medical conditions. Her determination to find answers and effective treatment for her daughter's rare form of epilepsy has the potential to inspire and benefit other families facing similar challenges.

Dixon-Salazar's journey from a concerned mother to a neurobiology researcher is a testament to the lengths parents will go to help their children. "I didn't have a science background at all. But I was determined to do whatever it took to help my daughter," Dixon-Salazar said. Her dedication and perseverance led to a life-changing discovery that has significantly improved Savannah's quality of life and offers hope to others living with rare forms of epilepsy.

Key Takeaways

  • Mom pursued PhD to research daughter's rare epilepsy, found treatment.
  • Daughter had Lennox-Gastaut syndrome with frequent, intense seizures.
  • Mom's research discovered daughter had calcium channel mutations causing seizures.
  • Calcium blocker medication reduced daughter's seizures by 95% in 2 weeks.
  • Mom's story highlights power of patient advocacy for complex medical conditions.