Quick Project Snapshot
Neuroanatomical determinants of susceptibility in a model of genetic epilepsy
Epilepsy affects ~1-2% of the population, making it the most common neurological disorder. 50% of all epilepsies are genetic generalized epilepsies (GGE), and currently more than 100.000 Australians live with this disease. These numbers highlight the dire clinical need for better therapy, diagnosis and prognosis. To achieve these goals we need to develop better knowledge of the underlying pathogenic processes. To date, research has focused on acute functional effects of genetic mutations rather than anatomical changes in the brain as GGEs have been traditionally been considered ‘idiopathic’ without any visible changes in brain structure. Recent results, however, indicate that subtle, microscopic alterations in brain anatomy and neuronal connectivity underlie some aspects of seizure genesis. This prompts the question whether we can understand genetic epilepsy if we are ignoring structural changes or assuming they are non-existent? This project will examine two forms of anatomical change associated with GGE: Microdysgenesis, which refers to changes during brain development, and homeostatic plasticity, which is an adaptive response to the seizures themselves. Anatomical alterations will be analysed in a mouse model carrying a human epilepsy mutation using cutting edge imaging and quantification techniques. Results will improve our understanding of pathogenic mechanisms in GGE with implications for therapy and diagnosis.
Ion Channels and Human Diseases Laboratory
Our research focuses on understanding the pathology of ion channel disorders, in particular epilepsy, using in vitro and in vivo models to reveal opportunities for developing novel therapies. We use a multidisciplinary approach spanning ion channel biophysics, mouse transgenesis, genetic analysis, computational modeling and in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology.
All Projects by this Lab“CLARITY” based glass brain imaging in health and diseaseNeuroanatomical determinants of susceptibility in a model of genetic epilepsyMulti-site patch clamp recording of cortical micro networksProjects in network analysis of genetic epilepsyHigh content automated analysis of ion channels in epilepsyHigh density multi-electrode array recording of in vitro networks in epilepsyIn vivo electrophysiological analysis in mouse models of genetic epilepsyMRI tractography in mouse models of genetic epilepsy: Creation of prognostic and diagnostic structural biomarkersOptogenetic modulation of the area tempestas – an epilepsy hot spotTUBEROUS SCLEROSIS AND EPILEPSY: USING RESECTED TISSUE TO UNDERSTAND PATHOGENESIS
The Florey's Epilepsy division is a world-leading centre for epilepsy research. The division has major groups at both the Florey’s Austin and Parkville campus. The group studies mechanisms that cause epilepsy from the level of cells to the function of the whole brain. We use technologies including advanced MRI and cutting edge cellular physiology techniques to allow us to understand genetic and acquired mechanisms that give rise to epilepsy. Together with our colleagues from The University of Melbourne and across Australia we are working towards finding a cure for epilepsy.