UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology

Prof Matthias Koepp

Prof Matthias Koepp

Professor of Neurology

Clinical & Experimental Epilepsy

UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology

Joined UCL
1st Oct 1999

Research summary

My major research achievements have been: 1. Development of an in-vivo imaging technique to demonstrate neurotransmitter fluxes induced by epileptic activity (Koepp et al, Lancet 1998) or through behavioural challenges (Koepp et al, Nature 1998). This widely cited and replicated work was the basis for a large programme of activities by the Psychiatry, Movement Disorder and Epilepsy Group at the MRC-CU (MRC project grant: G9901497). The main epilepsy-related finding from a series of experiments funded by this grant is the first direct human in vivo evidence for changes in opioid receptor availability over a time course of hours following spontaneous seizures, emphasizing further an important role of the opioid system in terminating seizure activity (Hammers et al., Brain 2007 in press). Recently, we were able to show endogenous opioid release during a shift in mood in orbitogrontal and temporo-limbic areas known to be involved in processing positive memories. 2. Conducted at the MRC Cyclotron Unit as an external program with funding from the MRC, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, I closely supervised investigations of the central benzodiazepine receptor complex in refractory epilepsy conducted by my post-doctoral research-fellow Dr Hammers, leading to a series of publications (Refs 3,5,6,8-11,14,18,). The clinically most relevant publication evaluating the role of 11C-flumazenil PET for refractory focal epilepsies with normal MRI was awarded the prestigious biennial â??Michael Prizeâ? in 2001 by the International League against Epilepsy. We showed the relevance of increased numbers of neurone cell bodies in the white matter in the genesis of epilepsy (ref 30,34) leading to the ability to predict poor post-surgical seizure-outcome (refs 42). Recently, I instigated investigations using a novel uncompetitive NMDA antagonist, 11C-CNS5161.


Freie Universitat Berlin
Doctorate, Doctor of Medicine | 1992