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Kotloski Lab

The focus of my laboratory is epilepsy and post-traumatic epilepsy.  Epilepsy is a prevalent and frequently debilitating neurologic condition characterized by a brain predisposed to generate seizures.  Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have a plethora of sequelae, including post-traumatic epilepsy.  A period of time, up to years, often exists between the injury and appearance of seizures, which appears extremely attractive for intervention.  However, our understanding of the processes occurring during this time, by which the brain becomes epileptic (i.e. epileptogenesis), is limited, and our ability to diagnose and treat is nonexistent.

Utilizing rodent models of epilepsy and TBI, the lab studies the development of epilepsy following brain injury (post-traumatic epileptogenesis), with a goal of improving our abilities to diagnose and treat.  In addition to standard rodent strains, the lab uses two unique strains of rat developed at the University of Wisconsin by Dr. Tom Sutula which have either susceptibility or resistance to the development of epilepsy. The lab studies electrophysiologic changes, including wide-band and single unit activity, from the time of injury through several months afterwards, during which epilepsy develops in a subset of animals.  Changes in gene and protein expression are studied through this time period as well, in an effort to identify molecular and cellular changes underlying the changes in electrophysiologic activity and development of epilepsy.  Behavioral testing is performed to assess co-morbid changes in behavior and learning.  Recent work in the lab has identified changes in electrophysiologic activity and patterns of protein expression acutely following TBI which are associated with risk of later development of post-traumatic epilepsy.  We are also studying the impact of conditions at the time of injury which may impact outcome after TBI.