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Detection of glial activation in the retina following epileptic seizures

Hedbys, Johan (2016) BIOK01 20161
Degree Projects in Biology
Popular Abstract
Look into my eyes

Epilepsy is a serious neurological condition characterized by spontaneous recurring seizures. The word seizure comes from the Latin word sacire and means; to take possession of. This is a very horrible yet very accurate description of how a severe seizure could look like. Although treatment is available, it is ineffective in 30% of the patients and still just symptomatic. The need for a new breakthrough in the area of epilepsy is hence very much needed. To discover novel treatments, the identification and survey of pathological hallmarks underlying epilepsy has to be done. Recent studies have achieved part of this goal by discovering the involvement of inflammation in an epileptic brain. It has been shown that... (More)
Look into my eyes

Epilepsy is a serious neurological condition characterized by spontaneous recurring seizures. The word seizure comes from the Latin word sacire and means; to take possession of. This is a very horrible yet very accurate description of how a severe seizure could look like. Although treatment is available, it is ineffective in 30% of the patients and still just symptomatic. The need for a new breakthrough in the area of epilepsy is hence very much needed. To discover novel treatments, the identification and survey of pathological hallmarks underlying epilepsy has to be done. Recent studies have achieved part of this goal by discovering the involvement of inflammation in an epileptic brain. It has been shown that inflammation can be both cause and consequence of an epileptic seizure and by looking at specific immune cells that are associated with inflammation it is possible to track the development of the inflammation.

The positive thing about inflammation is that the specific cells involved can be used as biomarkers. These biomarkers can then be used as a diagnostic target to evaluate brain inflammation and risk of seizures and epilepsy. However, looking at specific immune cells within the brain is impossible to do in any way pleasant for the patient.

The retina of the eye is an extension of the brain and the inflammation has recently been detected within the brain. Hypothetically the inflammation should then be detectable in the eyes as well. Since the eyes are far more available than the brain this could prove very useful for future diagnostic tools.

To test this, the eyes from epileptic rat models were examined 4 weeks after a seizure. This was done using immunohistochemistry targeted at microglia and Müller cells (cells associated with inflammation). The tissue from the eyes were then analyzed using an epifluorescence microscope. By looking at number of cells, the morphology and the reactivity of the cells a significant difference could be seen between the epileptic rats and the controls.

These are some of the first evidence that show how the inflammation induced by an epileptic seizure is detectable in as distant areas of the brain as the retina of the eye. The foundation has hence been built for future research to continue the way towards a new non-invasive tool to diagnose brain inflammation and epilepsy through the eye.

Supervisor: Christine Ekdahl Clementson, Faculty of Medicine, Inflammation and Stem Cell Therapy Group,
Bachelor's Degree Project 15 credits, 2016
Department of Biology, Lund University (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Hedbys, Johan
supervisor
organization
course
BIOK01 20161
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
language
English
id
8894299
date added to LUP
2016-10-28 15:40:19
date last changed
2016-10-28 15:40:19
@misc{8894299,
  author       = {Hedbys, Johan},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Detection of glial activation in the retina following epileptic seizures},
  year         = {2016},
}