James Hounshell, B.S. Biotechnology, James Madison University
The Patel lab is interested in mechanisms contributing to the hyperexcitability of neurons that mediate Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. TLE is one of the most common forms of epilepsy and is characterized recurrent spontaneous seizures . Medical costs associated with epilepsy in the United States total 9.6 billion dollars per year. To reduce cost and increase the standard of living for epilepsy patients we must determine underlying mechanisms of epileptogenesis in TLE. To this end we study sodium channels of the stellate and non-stellate cells of the layer II enterhinal cortex which form excitory synapses onto the hippocampus. These neurons have been heavily implicated in epilepsy. To do this we use traditional electrophysiological studies such as whole cell patch clamp and pharmacological agents to dissect cellular currents in a well known model of epilepsy in rats and mice known as chronic hippocampal stimulation (CHS).