Navigation Links
Advanced technology reveals activity of single neurons during seizures
Date:3/27/2011

The first study to examine the activity of hundreds of individual human brain cells during seizures has found that seizures begin with extremely diverse neuronal activity, contrary to the classic view that they are characterized by massively synchronized activity. The investigation by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brown University researchers also observed pre-seizure changes in neuronal activity both in the cells where seizures originate and in nearby cells. The report will appear in Nature Neuroscience and is receiving advance online publication.

"Our findings suggest that different groups of neurons play distinct roles at different stages of seizures," says Sydney Cash, MD, PhD, of the MGH Department of Neurology, the paper's senior author. "They also indicate that it may be possible to predict impending seizures, and that clinical interventions to prevent or stop them probably should target those specific groups of neurons."

Epileptic seizures have been reported since ancient times, and today 50 million individuals worldwide are affected; but much remains unknown about how seizures begin, spread and end. Current knowledge about what happens in the brain during seizures largely comes from EEG readings, which reflect the average activity of millions of neurons at a time. This study used a neurotechnology that records the activity of individual brain cells via an implanted sensor the size of a baby aspirin.

The researchers analyzed data gathered from four patients with focal epilepsy seizures that originate in abnormal brain tissues that could not be controlled by medication. The participants had the sensors implanted in the outer layer of brain tissue to localize the abnormal areas prior to surgical removal. The sensors recorded the activity of from dozens to more than a hundred individual neurons over periods of from five to ten days, during which each patient experienced multiple seizures. In some participants, the recordings detected changes in neuronal activity as much as three minutes before a seizure begins and revealed highly diverse neuronal activity as a seizure starts and spreads. The activity becomes more synchronized toward the end of the seizure and almost completely stops when a seizure ends.

"Even though individual patients had different patterns of neural activity leading up to a seizure, in most of them it was possible to detect changes in that activity before the upcoming seizure," says co-lead and corresponding author Wilson Truccolo, PhD, Brown University Department of Neuroscience and an MGH research fellow. "We're still a long way from being able to predict a seizure which could be a crucial advance in treating epilepsy but this paper points a direction forward. For most patients, it is the unpredictable nature of epilepsy that is so debilitating, so just knowing when a seizure is going to happen would improve their quality of life and could someday allow clinicians to stop it before it starts."

Cash adds, "We are using ever more sophisticated methods to handle the large amounts of data we are collecting from patients. Now we are assessing how well we actually can predict seizures using ensembles of single neurons and are continuing to use these advanced recording techniques to unravel the mechanisms that cause human seizures and leveraging this knowledge to make the most of animal models." Cash is an assistant professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, and Truccolo an assistant professor of Neuroscience (Research) at Brown.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sue McGreevey
smcgreevey@partners.org
617-724-2764
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Racial disparities persist in the diagnosis of advanced breast cancer and colon cancer in the U.S.
2. UH Case Medical Center researchers publish promising findings for advanced cervical cancer
3. Split-course palliative radiotherapy confirmed as effective treatment for advanced NSCLC
4. Drug for advanced kidney cancer shrinks tumors prior to surgery
5. Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement Honor Top U.S. Science and Math Students and Teachers
6. Family members reduce stress in advanced cancer patients with 14 minute massages
7. Accelerated radiation therapy reduces toxicity in patients with advanced head and neck cancers
8. Proton beam therapy shows encouraging long-term outcome for patients with locally advanced sinonasal cancers
9. Castrate-Metastatic Prostate Cancer: Therapeutic Considerations for Advanced Disease
10. AdvancedMD Appoints William Stone Vice President and General Manager of Billing Services Partner Program
11. BOTOX Cosmetic & Wrinkle Filler Specialist Hosts Advanced Training Event at Ageless Beauty in Mountain Home, ID
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Dr. ... New York, has recently begun offering three new minimally invasive procedures to patients ... procedures and reducing downtime, Dr. Rubinstein is excited to bring microneedling, microneedling facials, ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Ensuring meat ... new videos highlight the importance of correctly using a meat thermometer. The videos ... done extensive research on consumer food safety habits. Dr. Bruhn explains the variety ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Ross Insurance Agency ... the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) recent update of flood zones, more people ... the Biggert-Waters Act was enacted to reflect the actual risk in flood zone ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... All-Star Insurance, a family managed agency that offers ... Texas, is announcing the launch of a new charity drive to benefit women in ... United States reveal that an estimated 252, 710 new cases of invasive or high ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... United Benefit Advisors ... Whipple & Company as its newest Partner Firm. Headquartered in Coconut Creek, Florida, ... risk while tailoring optimized benefit packages that strengthen the relationship between employer and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/12/2017)... 12, 2017 Kineta, Inc., a biotechnology company focused ... Vice President of R&D and Head of Virology Kristin ... Preparedness for the Northwest and Beyond meeting sponsored by ... 14, 2017 from 8:30-10:30 AM PDT at the Agora Conference ... Dr. Bedard will be joined by other leaders in ...
(Date:6/9/2017)... PALO ALTO, Calif. , June 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... medical device company focused on the design, manufacture, sale ... updated the market on the progress of its commercial ... AeroForm is now available in more than one hundred ... country. AeroForm offers a needle-free alternative ...
(Date:6/8/2017)... Responding to Heath Ledger,s father,s recent call for ... Chris Cornell in May, the mental health watchdog group, ... psychiatric drug side effects search engine ... risks. The father of the late actor ... has called for tighter rules on prescription drugs. Speaking at ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: