The general purpose of this project is to understand how neurons in a network interact during a seizure. This knowledge would allow for a better comprehension of seizures, as well as the improvement of current treatment options. To accomplish this, Phase Response Curves (PRCs) are used to measure how a periodically firing neuron is perturbed by synaptic inputs. By understanding how a single neuron responds to these inputs, it can be predicted whether a network of neurons will synchronize or not.
Currently in the medical field it is accepted that anti-epileptic drugs work, but no one understand why they work the way they do. The preliminary results for this project indicate that some anti-epileptic drugs increase synchrony. This finding is contrary to the general belief that epilepsy is caused by hyper-synchrony, in which case increasing synchrony should cause more seizures.
This project examines how the anti-epileptic drug, Phenytoin affects the PRC and thusly the synchrony of the neuronal network. Once it is known whether Phenytoin increases or decreases synchrony, people can use this knowledge to increase the efficiency of anti-epileptic drugs which will be beneficial for individuals with epilepsy.
Huus, Aaron; Rodenkirch, Rebecca M..
The Dynamics of Epilepsy in Relation to the Application of Anti-Epileptic Drugs.
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