Epilepsy is characterized by a massive and synchronous discharge of large populations of neurons, which can propagate to different brain regions. Epilepsy often results from an initial insult of the brain (brain trauma, meningitis etc.). This insult triggers a chain of events that will remodel neuronal circuits, ultimately enabling seizure genesis and propagation. Since epilepsy is a disease of networks and networks of networks, multisite electrophysiological recordings are necessary to assess the underlying mechanisms. I shall present here how implantable electrodes in Human and animal models improved our knowledge of epilepsy, and what is expected from the next generation of multimodal probes.
Christophe Bernard is Director of Research 1 at INSERM UMR 751 (Faculté de Médecine Timone, Marseille). After an initial training in theoretical physics and mathematics, he did a Ph.D. on “Theoretical and experimental analysis of cellular activity in the cerebellum”. He then did a Post Doc in Southampton University with Howard Wheal on synaptic plasticity in an experimental model of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. Since then, his activity has been focused on the mechanisms underlying the construction of an epileptic brain. He has been awarded with the Michael Prize in 2007.