Epilepsies are caused by genetic mutations, and others have unknown causes. At the Modylab, we study both the genetic and unknown causes of epilepsies. Our research into a single gene mutation in Autosomal Dominant Nocturnal Frontal Lobe Epilepsy (ADNFLE) has shown that an altered function of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor can change neuronal synchrony through enhanced release of the inhibitory transmitter GABA.[ref] This was one of the first insights providing the role of GABA ergic inhibition in causing epileptic synchrony. Our present research focuses on the most prevalent epilepsy in adults, temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) affecting about one third of the epileptic population.
In a mouse model, we have replicated most findings of the pathology of human TLE and we are confident that such preclinical models could provide insights into the therapeutics of human TLE. Our advanced recording and data analysis capabilities have provided novel insights into the stages of local synchrony that precede the generalization of seizures in TLE. We are presently testing new therapeutical approaches to prevent the development of epilepsy in a normal brain after injury or inflammation, a process called epileptogenesis.