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Neurodevelopmental Disorders

We and others have found that subtle alterations in neural circuitry during critical periods of nervous system development can result in the emergence of congenital disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, and fragile X syndrome.  UVa also houses one of the top epilepsy centers in the US. The NGP leverages this resource by fostering a synergistic relationship between basic scientists and clinicians. In particular, NGP labs study prevalent and treatment-refractory forms of epilepsy such as absence epilepsy, temporal-lobe epilepsy and status epilepticus. To this end, we use techniques such as EEG recordings to monitor seizures in conjunction with analyzing properties of specific ion channels/pumps such as Nav1.6. Finally, we often integrate these data into predictive computational models. While our ultimate goal is to find alternative therapies for epilepsy and other neurodevelopmental disorders, understanding the nature of seizures lends insight into normal circuit function as well several neurodevelopmental disorders like autism.

Associated faculty:

Kevin Lee