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VISE Fall Seminar Series: Thursday, September 22

Posted by on Monday, September 19, 2016 in News.

Title:   Engineering Precision Medicine in Epilepsy
Speaker:  Martin J. Gallagher, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurology, Department of Neurology, Epilepsy Division, VUMC
Date: Thursday, September 22, 2016
Time: 12:05 start, noon lunch
Place:  Stevenson Center 5326

Abstract:  Epilepsy is a very heterogeneous disorder that is associated with a multitude of etiologies and can produce seizures originating from any cortical region.  Moreover, even a single epilepsy mutation can produce a variable phenotype within a human family or among mouse littermates. In many cases, visual examination of electroencephalography (EEG) combined with structural studies (MRI or histopathology in animal models) can uncover pathogenic mechanisms in animal models and correctly classify the syndrome and direct treatment tailored to individual patient.  However, in other cases, evaluation and treatment could be augmented by advanced quantitative analyses of these diagnostic tests.

Here, I will first provide background on the clinical and biological aspects of epilepsy. Next, I will describe scientific problems from my own preclinical research laboratory that would likely benefit from advanced analytical techniques of physiological data.  I will then discuss the typical clinical evaluation of patients with medically refractory epilepsy including continuous extracranial and intracranial EEG recordings and high-resolution MRI and how these studies could be augmented by digital signal- and image processing.  Finally, I will describe a new, commercially available closed-loop responsive brain stimulation technique for the treatment of refractory epilepsy patients who are not eligible for brain resection.  Ample time for discussion and questions will be given

image006Speaker Bio:  Dr. Gallagher received his BS in 1989 in Chemistry at Notre Dame.  He completed his MD/PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Medicine at Washington University in 1997.  He conducted an internship in Internal Medicine, residency in Neurology, and was an Epilepsy Fellow at Washington University, Barnes-Jewish Hospital in 1998, 2001, and 2002 respectively.  He joined Vanderbilt University, Department of Neurology in 2002 and is currently an Associate Professor.  Dr. Gallagher’s work is dedicated to the research and treatment of complex epilepsy syndromes.  As a clinical epileptologist, he is an expert in performing intracranial EEG and local field potential recordings as well as the quantitative analysis of high frequency waveforms.  As director of EEG for the Middle Tennessee VA, he oversees numerous EEGs in patients with brain injury and neurodegenerative disorders.  His research focuses on understanding how genetic epilepsy mutations cause seizures.  He also does work using expressed human epilepsy mutations in mouse models and determine the synaptic, cellular, and network consequences of these genetic changes. His lab has extensive experience in mouse brain slice patch clamp electrophysiology that is used to determine the effects of the epilepsy mutations on neuronal excitability and synaptic currents, and has expertise in performing stereotactic EEG and local field potential recordings in mice and in the quantitative analysis of the waveforms.