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Epilepsy Research


A major focus of the Mody Lab is to investigate alterations in nerve cell and circuit excitability responsible for offsetting the frail balance between excitation and inhibition. When the balance between excitation and inhibition is disrupted, cells start to behave abnormally leading to specific brain disorders, such as epilepsy.  Our laboratory focuses on studying alterations in neurotransmitter systems underlying epileptogenesis.  We use many experimental approaches including: patch-clamp recordings (whole-cell, single channel and perforated patch) in brain slices, in acutely isolated human and rodent nerve cells, or in cultured neurons/slices; chronic recordings in vivo to monitor long-term changes in the excitability of circuits; infrared and fluorescent video microscopy and simultaneous recordings in live brain tissue; neuroanatomical and immunohistochemical techniques; measurement of intraneuronal calcium; molecular biological approaches aimed at reducing specific brain proteins by using antisense oligonucleotides and mice with altered genes.  Current projects involve studying the pathophysiology of a genocopy model of Autosomal Dominant Nocturnal Frontal Lobe Epilepsy (ADNFLE), investigating hormonally-mediated alterations in excitability related to catamenial epilepsy, determining the contribution of specific cell types in organizing and maintaining network oscillations in the hippocampus, and the role of extrasynaptic inhibition in temporal lobe epilepsy.