Brain microcircuits lab
Astroglia have traditionally been assigned with auxiliary roles in the brain, confined mainly to the structural and metabolic support, as prominently represented by astroglial extracellular potassium buffering and neurotransmitter uptake. It has recently emerged however that astroglia could actually play an important adaptive function in regulating excitability of synaptic circuits and they thus contribute to formation and generation of neural network activity. It has also become apparent that many of the causes of epilepsy (e.g. head injury) clearly affect glia and such effects on glia are likely in turn to promote epileptic activity. Determining the impact of glia on brain function should therefore give us a new, deeper understanding of epilepsy and may lead to novel approaches to epilepsy treatment.
Thus the present research interests of the laboratory is to understand the principles of astroglial involvement in brain rhythms genesis, and to test the hypothesis that abnormalities of glial function are sufficient to generate seizure activity, and that glial function changes acutely and chronically following prolonged seizure activity.
The head of the lab is PhD, Professor of University College London (Great Britain) Dmitri Rusakov (h-index 33).