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MRI PATTERNS AND MOLECULAR MARKERS IN POSTTRAUMATIC EPILEPSY
Supervisor:
Katarzyna Lukasiuk, Ph.D,
Supervisor webpage
http://www.nencki.gov.pl/en/working_groups/molecular_and_cellular_neurobiology/lab_09.html
Foreign partner:
Prof. Asla Pitkanen, M.D., Ph.D, A.I. Virtanene Institute, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland
Foreign partner webpage:
http://www.uku.fi/aivi/neuro/epilepsy/group_leader.shtml
Background:
It is estimated that approximately 0.8% of the population is affected by some form of epilepsy. In approximately 30% cases, epilepsy is a result of an insult to the brain. Traumatic brain injury is a prevalent cause of disability and mortality in industrialized countries. The consequences of traumatic brain injury are complex and diverse. They include primary and secondary neurodegeneration as well as molecular, cellular and metabolic alterations in the brain. It is generally assumed, that these changes lead to functional disabilities including epilepsy. However significance of events triggered by brain trauma for disease development is still poorly understood. There is also no strategy to diagnose patients who will eventually develop epilepsy. The search for surrogate markers of posttraumatic epileptogenesis is one of the most important topics in epilepsy field today.
Aim of the study:
The main goal of this project is to search for (i) MRI pattern which would be predictive for epilepsy diagnosis in the rat model of traumatic brain injury and for (ii) molecular events characteristic for epilepsy.
International exchange:
The student will spend the first 1.5 year in the laboratory of Prof. Pitkanen. During this time he/she will learn the methods and will perform all animal experiments. During the first stay in Kuopio MRI and EEG data will be briefly analyzed. During the second and third stay (6 monts together) in Kuopio the student will finalize data analysis and will have opportunity to perform additional work if it is required in light of results of the first experiment.
Additional requirements for the student:
MSc in biology, medicine, pharmacy, veterinary or related discipline. Experience in animal work (stereotactic surgery), brain imaging and/or molecular biology will be an advantage. Fluent english. Excellent manual skills.


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