Instability in Epileptic Networks: Initiation, Termination, Interruption

Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Universidad de Bonn, Regina-Pacis-Weg, Bonn
Speaker: John Huguenard, PhD (Stanford University)
Host: Laura Ewell, PhD

Talk Summary

Historically, neuroscience research has provided mechanistic insights regarding ways in which neural circuitry may become dysfunctional in the context of epileptic seizures. For example, a rich history of studies in isolated rodent brain slices has provided a window into neural function during seizure-like events, but these studies are often artificially produced in vitro (out of the living organism). These in vitro studies allow for easier access to intracellular recordings and other advanced neurophysiological approaches whose results support roles for individual neurons and synapses in provoking and preventing seizure states.

Now, advances in scientific methods allow for real-time modulation of specific neural activity in behaving animals experiencing seizures. In this talk I will present recent in vivo (live animal) studies from our laboratory and others that validate some, but not all, of the mechanistic models obtained from simple ex vivo approaches and discuss how an integrated in vitro/in vivo approach may lead to a powerful translational path.