Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy

Head of Department: Professor Matthew Walker.

Vision

We strive to achieve excellence in clinical and experimental epilepsy research that encompasses both basic scientific research in many complementary disciplines, and multidisciplinary translational research that is of direct clinical relevance..

BackgroundThe Department of Clinical & Experimental Epilepsy (DCEE) was established in October 2001, building on the MRC Epilepsy Co-operative Group established in 1998. Research in the department spans University College London (UCL), University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH), and the National Society for Epilepsy (NSE) at Chalfont.

Our major aims are:

   * To understand the fundamental workings of neurons, synapses and brain circuits.

   * To identify the genetic mechanisms contributing to the development of epilepsy and related neurological disorders, and the response to anti-epileptic drugs.

   * To determine the mechanisms of initiation and termination of epileptic seizures.

   * To clarify, experimentally and clinically, the mechanisms and associations of cerebral damage caused by seizures and epilepsy.

   * To develop, optimise and evaluate new antiepileptic treatments.

   * To pursue epidemiological and outcome research in epilepsy.

Our major activities are centred on:

   * The neurophysiology, pharmacology and neuropathology of neuronal and synaptic signalling, taking advantage of advanced biophysical, optical and computational methods.

   * Psychological, computational and neuroimaging studies of spatial and episodic memory.

   * Video-electroencephalography telemetry combined with viral manipulation of neuronal and circuit excitability.

   * In vivo imaging of brain structure, activity and function, including magnetoencephalography and integration of imaging data with intracranial and surface electroencephalography, applied to the identification of seizure generators.

   * An epilepsy surgery programme with close integration of neurophysiology, neuropsychology, imaging and pathology.

   * Research on the psychiatric and psychological concomitants of epilepsy and its treatment.

   * Genetic studies of epileptic syndromes and related inherited neurological disorders, and of antiepileptic drug response.

   * Preclinical and clinical development of novel therapies.

   * Epidemiological and outcome research in diverse populations.

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