Research

Why do brains seize? Our research examines the cellular and circuit level interactions between brain cells, which result in the development of epileptic seizures. We  attempt to utilise a ‘first principles approach’ to make predictions that can be tested experimentally. We have a strong focus on causes of epilepsy relevant to the African context.

reduced_short_seizureWe are pursuing two related research programs:

  • Cellular mechanisms of epilepsy in neurocysticercosis: Electrophysiological and functional imaging approaches are used to study cellular mechanisms of epilepsy in neurocysticercosis.
  • Ion dynamics in epilepsy and cortical processing: This focuses on the transmembrane concentration gradients of two ions, chloride (Cl-) and protons (H+), that play a fundamental role in controlling GABAergic transmission – the major inhibitory system within the nervous system. Electrophysiological and novel optical techniques are used to dynamically monitor and manipulate chloride and hydrogen ion concentration within brain cells. Implications for clinical treatment of epilepsy and cortical processing are explored using a combination of computational and experimental approaches.