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Project title: The breakdown of neurovascular coupling in the diseased state specifically Epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.

Primary supervisor: Dr Jason Berwick

Project description: Epilepsy is the most common neurological condition in the UK, affecting 1 – 2 % of the population. Epilepsies often involve only a small area of the brain - the epileptic focus – and the abnormal activity can propagate out from there. Although surgery is often curative in epilepsy, effective intervention relies on the correct identification of the location of the epileptic focus. Current pre-operative techniques are of limited use in this regard, but the new generation of imaging techniques based on changes in blood perfusion of active areas offer great promise. However, we currently have very little understanding of how epilepsy affects the relationship between brain activity and perfusion. Our research will use state of the art techniques in an animal model of epilepsy to characterise, define and measure the relationship between activity and perfusion in the epileptic state. We will also assess whether any long term changes in this relationship persist after epileptic activity, and whether antiepileptic medication can return the relationship to normal. The research we propose will develop the use of imaging techniques as a tool for pre-surgical localization of epileptic foci in epilepsy and ultimately improve outcomes for surgical interventions on human epilepsy patients.

Research Groups Involved: Dr Berwick, Dr A. J. Kennerley, Prof Overton, Dr CHUANG Kai-Hsiang – Singapore Bioimaging consortium


Formal enquiries should be addressed to: Dr Jason Berwick (j.berwick@sheffield.ac.uk)

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