While cortical and limbic regions are known to be highly susceptible to seizures, converging evidence suggests that subcortical neuromodulatory networks may regulate when and how seizures start and propagate. Subcortical neuromodulatory neurons are clustered into small nuclei and send widespread projections throughout the central nervous system. They profoundly regulate the excitability of downstream targets and thereby modulate brain activity on a large scale. We are determining how seizures hijack subcortical neuromodulatory networks, and whether those networks can in turn be harnessed to prevent or curtail seizures.

  • How do subcortical neuromodulatory neurons endogenously respond to seizures?
  • What is the consequence of exogenously manipulating these neurons prior to or at seizure onset?

Corticohippocampal circuit dysfunction in epilepsy