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Epilepsy Neurophysiology Laboratory

The Epilepsy Neurophysiology Laboratory, led by Irving Associate Professor Dr. Guy McKhann, focuses in several areas using multidisciplinary, collaborative investigation:

1) epilepsy pathophysiology

2) astrocyte neurobiology

3) human precursor cell development

4) brain organization of language and sensorimotor function.

Current basic laboratory work is using human tissue from epilepsy surgeries together with genetic and pharmacological rodent models of epilepsy to study the role of altered glial metabolism in epilepsy. We apply slice electrophysiological, immunohistochemical, and molecular techniques to study gliosis and gliogenesis in epilepsy.

Projects, in collaboration with Drs. John Krakauer and Pietro Mazzoni (Neurology) and Joy Hirsch (Center for Neurobiology), are studying the mechanisms of motor learning and recovery in neurosurgical patients using kinematic testing, fMRI, and brain stimulation. Brain organization of auditory language function is being investigated with Dr. Marla Hamberger (Neurology).

CUMC is a leading site in all of the major clinical epilepsy surgical therapies currently under trial as part of multi-institutional NIH or industry sponsored studies. Led by Drs. Robert Goodman and McKhann, together with neurologists from the Columbia Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, these include: 1) Responsive brain stimulation (RNS); 2) Deep brain stimulation (DBS) for various forms of focal epilepsy; 3) Gamma knife radiosurgery for the treatment of temporal lobe epilepsy; 4) Investigation of a multichannel microelectrode for microseizure detection.

Investigation of deep brain stimulation for depression will be starting in the near future in collaboration with Dr. Sarah Lisanby in Psychiatry. A multicenter outcome trial for adult hydrocephalus/NPH is is planned.

patient journey

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