Jeffrey Mensah – Gehlert Fellowship Recipient
Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, Wilcox Lab
My research seeks to identify cortical microcircuit changes in neuronal excitability in hyperthermia-induced and spontaneous seizures in a mouse model of Dravet Syndrome (DS). DS is a severe childhood-onset genetic developmental and epileptic encephalopathy caused by a heterozygous loss of function mutation in the SCN1A gene. Despite the advances in epilepsy research, drug-resistant DS remains a significant unmet medical need. A better insight into the cortical circuit properties and mechanisms during both provoked and spontaneous seizures, before, during, and after drug treatment, is essential to improve treatment options. This study utilizes a combination of video-EEG and the UCLA Miniscope to image cortical microcircuit dynamics during hyperthermia-induced and spontaneous seizures in awake, freely moving Scn1aWT/A1783V/AAVsyn1-jGCaMP7f mice.