Thesis topic proposal
Lucia Wittner
Physiological and pathological cortical synchronisations of the human brain


Institute: Semmelweis University, Budapest
theoretical medicine
János Szentágothai Doctoral School of Neurosciences

Thesis supervisor: Lucia Wittner
Location of studies (in Hungarian): Semmelweis Egyetem
Abbreviation of location of studies: SE

Description of the research topic:

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders, which is thought to be related to the hyperexcitability and hypersynchronous discharge of the neuron populations. Beside the physiological synchronies and oscillations required for the cognitive functions of the brain, the cortical structures are able to generate pathological synchronisations, such as epileptic seizures and synchronous discharges between the seizures, called interictal spikes. In this project we would like to explore the cellular and network properties of the epileptic and non-epileptic synchronous activity of the human brain, with the aid of an in vitro model. Spontaneous synchronous population activity is generated in vitro, in human cortical slices derived from both epileptic and non-epileptic (tumour) patients. In epileptic samples an additional, large and complex interictal-like activity also emerged in physiological conditions. Furthermore, interictal-like spikes and seizures can be induced with the aid of the voltage-gated K-channel blocker 4-amino-pyridine and low Mg2+-concentration solution, respectively. In this project we aim to examine the mechanisms of these synchronous events at the cellular and microcircuit level, with the aid of a multiple channel microelectrode system. We wish to explore the role of the excitatory and inhibitory neuron types in the generation of interictal spikes and seizures and compare it to the physiological population activity. Our results might show the border between physiological and pathological synchronisation mechanisms, elucidate the role of excitatory and inhibitory circuits in synchrony generation, and its change in epilepsy. The results of this project might help in the development of new therapeutic pathways to treat epilepsy.

Deadline for application: 2021-12-20

2021. X. 14.
ODT online ülés
Az ODT következő, online ülésére 2021. november 19-én 10.00 órakor kerül sor.

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