In April, BCOM second year medical student Royce Sumayo presented his research at The American Academy of Neurology’s 70th annual meeting in Los Angeles, California.

Sumayo’s research project, conducted in collaboration with neurologist Joseph Sirven, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, investigated the relationship between leukodystrophies and seizures. The project is titled, “”A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review of Seizures, Epilepsy and Leukodystrophies.”

“Leukodystrophies are a group of rare, progressive, genetic diseases that affect the brain, spinal cord, and sometimes, the peripheral nerves,” Sumayo explained. “Each type of leukodystrophy is caused by a specific gene abnormality that leads to abnormal development or destruction of the white matter of the brain. There is a large amount of literature stating seizures occurring with cases of leukodystrophy, but specifically, my principal investigator and I wanted to look at to what extent this was occurring.”

The event also included a number of presentations and exhibitions highlighting research and findings in neurological conditions, as well as public health issues affecting the specialty. Sumayo said, “It was an amazing experience and showed just how exciting and new this field of medicine can be. This took being a student to an entirely different level.”