Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders, and is thought to be associated with neuronal hypersynchrony, resulting in the generation and maintenance of interictal activity and seizures. Our group – in collaboration with the National Institute of Clinical Neuroscience (Országos Klinikai Idegsebészeti Intézet) – uses a complex approach to investigate the cellular and network mechanisms of physiological and pathological (epileptic) synchronies. Our aim is to get insights into the cellular and network mechanisms of synchrony generation in the human neocortex. We examine how excitatory and inhibitory cells participate in the initiation of synchronous processes in epileptic patients as well as in tumour patients without epilepsy. We intend to reveal abnormalities in macro- and microcircuits in the human cortical tissue that might be causally related to seizure activity, using two photon imaging, simultaneous intracellular and multiple extracellular electrophysiology and correlated light- and electron microscopy.
We perform chronic intracortical recordings in epileptic patients with the aid of “thumbtack” electrodes inserted together with the clinical subdural electrodes, as well as intraoperative ECoG recordings from both epileptic and non-epileptic patients. Furthermore, we record neuronal activity from postoperative neocortical tissue using two-photon imaging, simultaneous intra- and extracellular electrophysiology, completed with anatomical examinations. Cellular features and behaviours characteristic to human neurons are revealed by combined two-photon imaging and intracellular patch clamp recording. Our linear multiple channel microelectrode helps us to locate the transmembrane currents along the different layers of the human neocortex, as well as to identify the discharge pattern of excitatory and inhibitory single cells. Correlated light- and electron microscopy is used to examine synaptic reorganisation and changes in the axonal connectivity of the neocortex associated to epileptic processes.
Our studies intend to clarify the subtle border between physiological and pathological processes, and perhaps suggest new targets for pharmaceutical research. Upcoming therapeutic strategies considering current human research highlights could eventuate in the development of new, more efficient approaches to prevent epileptic seizures and/or to treat the epilepsy caused damage.
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Full publication history(RCNS ICNP in collaboration with NICN neurosurgeons)
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