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Matthew Walker

Mechanisms and treatment of epilepsy

Epilepsy is one of the commonest neurological conditions, and has a considerable associated morbidity and mortality. Approximately a third of patients continue to have seizures despite our present drug treatments, and very few of these patients are suitable for curative epilepsy surgery. New approaches for the treatment of epilepsy are thus urgently needed. In our laboratory, we combine in vivo and in vitro neurophysiology in order to address questions concerning the regulation of cortical excitability, mechanisms underlying epileptogenesis (the development of epilepsy) and the treatment and pathology of prolonged seizures (status epilepticus). The main goal is to identify new strategies for the treatment of epilepsy.

The laboratory uses a range of methods, including the generation of in vivo and in vitro models of seizures and epilepsy, long-term video-EEG monitoring of seizures in vivo, patch-clamp electrophysiology and immunohistochemistry.


  1. Changes in release probability in the development of epilepsy
  2. The role of extracellular GABA in regulating cortical excitability
  3. Focal treatments for epilepsy


Pavlov I, Savtchenko LP, Kullmann DM, Semyanov A, Walker MC. (2009)
Outwardly rectifying tonically active GABA(A) receptors in pyramidal cells modulate neuronal offset, not gain.
J Neurosci 2009;29(48):15341-50

Huang Z, Walker MC, Shah MM. (2009)
Loss of dendritic HCN1 subunits enhances cortical excitability and epileptogenesis.
J Neurosci 2009;29(35):10979-88

Scimemi A, Semyanov A, Sperk G, Kullmann DM, Walker MC. (2005)
Multiple and plastic receptors mediate tonic GABA(A) receptor currents in the hippocampus.
J Neurosci 2005;25(43):10016-24


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