“Epilepsy – Beyond the Local Network”
Nigel P. Pedersen, M.D.
Department of Neurology
While human research has emphasized the large-scale network disruptions in the epilepsies and their co-morbidities, basic science has typically focused on local networks. In rodents, more general large-scale network dynamics are essentially unstudied at fast time scales and high spatial precision. I will describe our human work examining forebrain connectivity and animal studies that examine large scale network manipulations and the development of techniques to record from larger anatomically connected networks. Present animal model work focuses on manipulations of one of the most important large-scale networks - the major state control system for sleep-wake and vigilance. While these circuits have been elucidated in increasing detail over the last decade and are the major controller of brain rhythms and excitability, they are surprisingly little explored in epilepsy. I will discuss the limitations of present technologies for studying large-scale brain networks in rodents and a solution that we are developing.