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MRI as a potential method for detecting inflammation in eyes of epileptic mice

Öberg, Maria (2016) MOBK01 20161
Degree Projects in Molecular Biology
Popular Abstract
You might have heard the expression that the eyes are the window to the soul, but what if the eyes are also the window to the brain? What if you could see what happens in a person’s brain only by looking into their eyes?

There is indeed a physical link between the eyes and the brain. The retina, the part of the eyes that is responsible for collecting incoming light, develops from a part of the brain during foetal development. Then what if you could use this link, to look into a person’s eyes and determine if there are some diseases in that person’s brain?

Neurological diseases, diseases in the brain, can have great impact on ones’ quality of life. One example is epilepsy, a person with this disease, experience seizures where he or... (More)
You might have heard the expression that the eyes are the window to the soul, but what if the eyes are also the window to the brain? What if you could see what happens in a person’s brain only by looking into their eyes?

There is indeed a physical link between the eyes and the brain. The retina, the part of the eyes that is responsible for collecting incoming light, develops from a part of the brain during foetal development. Then what if you could use this link, to look into a person’s eyes and determine if there are some diseases in that person’s brain?

Neurological diseases, diseases in the brain, can have great impact on ones’ quality of life. One example is epilepsy, a person with this disease, experience seizures where he or she can get symptoms such as auditory illusions and/or muscle twitching. The person is often not conscious about his or her surroundings during a seizure. Due to the possibility of seizures persons with epilepsy are sometime not allowed to drive or have certain jobs, they also have the risk of injuring themselves. One out of twenty-six people will develop some type of epileptic disorder during their lifetime, most of those will get help from anti-epileptic drugs but for as many as 30% these drugs do not help. Some of those patients can instead get help form surgery.

Today epilepsy is diagnosed by electroencephalography (EEG) where the electric activity of the brain is measured and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) where pictures of the brain are taken, but novel diagnostic tools are needed.

During many neurological diseases there is an inflammation in the brain, this is also the case for epilepsy. Detection of this inflammation may therefore be used as a diagnostic method for epileptic disorders. Recent research has shown that this inflammation also is present in the eyes of epileptic mice, and can be discovered in the retinal tissue using a method where inflammatory cells are stained for. This method requires that the eyes are taken out and is therefore of no clinical use.

Therefore, in the present study we wanted to evaluate if MRI can be used to detect this retinal inflammation, as it’s a non-invasive method that does not destroy the eye of the patient. One could say that we wanted to look at what happens in the brain by looking into the eyes. A MRI investigation has previously been performed on epileptic mice, this study was not able to detect any inflammation within the eyes. What we have done is to stain the inflammatory cells in the retinal tissue of the mice that underwent MRI. We did this to investigate if those mice had an inflammation in their eyes. If a weak or no inflammation is present, this could be the reason to why the previous MRI study was not able to detect any inflammation.

We were not able to find any presence of strong inflammation by staining the cells involved. This means that we currently cannot rule out the ability of the MRI technique to detect seizure-induced retinal inflammation in the eye and its usefulness as a tool for diagnosing epilepsy. Further research will be needed to assess if MRI can be used to detect retinal inflammation and in that case to diagnose epilepsy. If MRI can be used to diagnose epilepsy, this could help people who are suffering from epilepsy.

Supervisor: Matilda Ahl and Christine Ekdhal Clementson, Biomedicinskt centrum (BMC) Lund university
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
Öberg, Maria
supervisor
organization
course
MOBK01 20161
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
language
English
id
8894636
date added to LUP
2016-11-04 11:52:32
date last changed
2016-11-04 11:52:32
@misc{8894636,
  author       = {Öberg, Maria},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {MRI as a potential method for detecting inflammation in eyes of epileptic mice},
  year         = {2016},
}