Forskargruppsledare: Fredrik Asztely
The brain consists of functional networks of neurons and glia cells. The modification of these networks is vital for the normal function, such as learning and memory, and continues throughout life. However, these modifications are also fragile and susceptible to pathological changes. These pathological changes could be morphological damages, such as disorders of neuronal migration or traumatic/ischemic insults to the brain, but could also be functional changes such as modifications in existing synaptic contacts and changes in the glial-neuronal interaction.
Epilepsy, the most common chronic neurological disorder, is a prime example of a disorder associated with pathological changes in networks of neurons and glial cells. Using electrophysiological methods, i.e. extracellular field recordings and patch-clamp recordings, we can measure the synaptic and intrinsic electrical activity in neurones. This technique also allows for selective activation of different parts of the brain such as hippocampus (part of the temporal lobe). With these techniques we can investigate the synaptic properties in different sets of synapses in different parts of hippocampus. Secondly, by simultaneous multi-channel recordings of different parts of hippocampus we will be able to determine functional changes in the connectivity, i.e. changes in the neural and astroglial networks.
Docent, PhD, MD
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