Toxicogenetic analysis of valproic acid-associated hepatotoxicity in pediatric epileptic patients

Valproic acid is a drug that has been used successfully for the treatment of many types of seizures. Yet for some patients, the drug is associated with liver failure. Clinicians are not able to predict which patient will be at risk for this serious and sometime fatal side effect, but it is known that liver failure is more common in the very young patients and when the drug is used together with other anticonvulsants. Tony Kiang is studying the possibility that individuals could have a genetic predisposition for developing liver failure following valproic acid therapy. In his research project, Tony will be using advanced genomic technologies to test this hypothesis. Results from this research will help clinicians identify which patients are suitable to be prescribed valproic acid.