Engineering brain cells to respond to light allows us to probe the inner workings of neural networks. Working with Alexander Gourine and Sergey Kasparov, researchers in CABI are utilising functional MRI to monitor brain activity after optical stimulation of these engineered brain cells. The previous development of these functional MRI techniques has allowed significant advances in our understanding of the brain cells. The previous development of these functional MRI techniques has allowed significant advances in our understanding of the MRI to investigate aspects of the central nervous system which have previously been impenetrable.
Alongside this, we are looking to further understand the mechanisms involved in brain injury following cerebral insults such as cerebral ischemia (with Raymond MacAllister) and prolonged seizures (with Rod Scott). Non-invasive anatomical imaging techniques are extremely powerful in their ability to follow changes over time. Improving the specificity of these techniques and applying them to the study of neurological diseases will have significant consequences in the field of neuroscience.
MRI investigations into convulsive status epilepticus and the development of epilepsy
Status epilepticus, a very prolonged seizure, is a common medical neurological emergency and is associated with adverse outcomes; including brain injury, cognitive deficits and the subsequent development of chronic epilepsy. Currently, there are no clinical therapies for the prevention of such adverse outcomes. An understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms that underlie the progression from status epilepticus to epilepsy may therefore facilitate the development of such therapies. We are investigating these mechanisms with MRI by monitoring the evolution of brain injury following status epilepticus and the epilepsy with video EEG. (Ben Duffy)
Neuroprotection by remote ischemic conditioning in experimental stroke
This project will investigate a potential
treatment that could ultimately be used to reduce brain injury in stroke
patients. Stroke is a highly debilitating neurological disease and a
leading cause of death worldwide. One major cause is obstruction of the
blood supply to the brain resulting in cell death.
We are investigating remote ischemic preconditioning
(RIPC); a natural body reflex induced by low blood flow conditions
which results in internal organs becoming resistant to the effects of
low blood flow. We aim to investigate if RIPC can protect the brain
during stroke. Following induction of an experimental stroke, we will
measure brain damage using MRI as well as assess behavioural recovery.
Images by Benjamin Sinclair and Bernard Siow
Page last modified on 12 sep 11 13:44