The brain constantly produces electrical signals via neuronal activity. ElectroEncephaloGraphy (EEG) tests record these electrical oscillations through small sensors, called electrodes, usually placed on the scalp. In epileptic patients, uncontrolled activity patterns induce continuous synchronous high-frequency and high-amplitude oscillations, identified as seizures. Although neurons are responsible for these aberrant signals, astrocytes, a non-neuronal glial cell type highly interconnected with neurons, modulate them. Our project aims at understanding the exact role of astrocytes in pathological conditions such as epilepsy, and through the NCCR TransCure network develops astrocyte-targeted small molecules and tools to tune astrocyte function and thereby possibly reduce epileptic seizures.
Roberta de Ceglia
NCCR TransCure postdoctoral researcher (group Volterra)