Alterations in the balance of excitation and inhibition in brain circuits are central to the development of epilepsy.
Furthermore, altered cortical excitatory/inhibitory balance is increasingly recognised as potentially contributing to risk for psychiatric disorders such as autism, ADHD and schizophrenia.
This is particularly important as these psychiatric conditions are frequently co-occurent with epilepsy, with shared co-morbidities of learning and memory impairment, suggesting that research in these areas may help uncover common mechanisms.
Excitingly this avenue of research also opens up the possibility of developing new therapies for these disorders. Here at the Research Institute we study epilepsy and related conditions using a wide spectrum of techniques. These include human stem and iPS cells, systems neuroscience, clinical psychology and functional imaging studies, on patients from the National Epilepsy Surgery programme.