Brain inflammation appears to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of epilepsy. A major cell type involved in inflammatory cascades are the microglial cells – brain-resident immune cells that become activated after epileptogenic brain injuries. Despite years of research in this area, a clear role of microglia in epilepsy development has not been established. This is partly due to the dynamic nature in which these cells get activated. The function of these cells can oscillate between different phenotypes that are associated with the release of either pro- or anti-inflammatory mediators. Therefore, depending on the stage after initial epileptogenic brain injury, their activation may promote brain repair processes or conversely accelerate the epilepsy development. This project will utilise animal models to identify the role of microglia at different stages of epilepsy development. This will be achieved by pharmacologically eliminating microglia at different timepoints following induction of epilepsy, and evaluate the relevant epilepsy outcomes by electrophysiological, molecular, immunofluorescence imaging and techniques.
microglia, brain inflammation, epilepsy, neuroscience, seizures, pharmacology
Central Clinical School » Neuroscience
Masters by research
Top-up scholarship funding available
Alfred Research Alliance