Acquired epilepsy in Alzheimer’s disease

Research Opportunity
PhD
Department
Medicine and Radiology
Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Professor Patrick Kwan patrick.kwan@unimelb.edu.au +61 3 9342 7722 Personal web page
Patrick Kwan patrick.kwan@unimelb.edu.au +61 3 9342 7722 Personal web page

Project Details

People with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are 10 times more likely to develop epilepsy compared with age-matched controls. Recurrent seizures and their treatment with conventional antiepileptic drugs may exacerbate cognitive decline, yet the pathological basis for the increased risk of epilepsy is largely unknown, and there are no treatments that prevent epilepsy in AD patients. The relationships between the pathological processes of AD and neuronal hyperexcitability are poorly understood. Elucidating the pathomechanisms of epileptogenesis in AD is critical in identifying effective therapeutic strategies to prevent the development of epilepsy in this high risk and vulnerable population.  

The novelty of this project lies in its aims to directly address the mechanisms of epileptogenesis in AD through the study of relevant animal models of AD and acquired epilepsy. It will identify the mechanistic processes of epileptogenesis in AD under a coherent hypothesis. The aims will be achieved by subjecting transgenic AD models reflecting the pathological hallmarks to acquired epileptogenesis and treating them novel compounds. The phenotypic changes (epileptogenesis and cognitive/behavioural outcomes) will be correlated with the molecular and cellular changes in these pathways.

Researchers

  • Dr Jianxiong Chan, Post-doc (molecular biology)
  • Ms Juliana Silva, PhD student

Collaborators

  • A/Prof Nigel Jones

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the supervisor to discuss your options.

Research Outcomes

  • Chan J, Jones NC, Bush AI, O'brien TJ, Kwan P. A mouse model of Alzheimer's disease displays increased susceptibility to kindling and seizure-associated death. Epilepsia 2015 56 (6), e73-e77.


Faculty Research Themes

Neuroscience

School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry



Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department

Medicine and Radiology

Research Group / Unit / Centre

Epilepsy and Precision Medicine