Epilepsy Basic & Translational Research | NYU Langone Health

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Epilepsy Research Epilepsy Basic & Translational Research

Epilepsy Basic & Translational Research

Investigators in NYU Langone’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center lead basic and translational research programs to better understand how epilepsy affects the brain, enabling us to develop novel methods of diagnosis and treatment.

Basic Research

Our basic science research program leverages our strengths in human cognition as well as our collaborations with leading molecular, cellular, and systems neuroscientists to better understand how epilepsy affects single cells and networks of neurons, and ultimately impacts human behavior.

The multidisciplinary intracranial EEG program is advancing our understanding of human brain physiology and improving the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. We study nerve cell networks with electrocorticography (ECoG), or intracranial EEG. ECoG uses invasive electrodes implanted inside or on the surface of the brain to record electrical activity. Patients having ECoG often participate in cognitive studies, helping to reveal the neural mechanisms and networks involved in speech and language, sensory perception, consciousness, memory, and decision-making. We also combine data from functional MRI or magnetoencephalography with ECoG data to better understand what these signals reveal about brain function.

Translational Research

Our translational research program merges basic science and clinical expertise to develop novel diagnostic tools and therapies for people with epilepsy.

The Comprehensive Epilepsy Center partners with NYU Langone’s Neuroscience Institute and Department of Medicine for our Genetics and Precision Medicine Research Initiative. This research effort is studying molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying epilepsy and seizures and developing precision therapies, including gene-editing strategies to correct disease-causing mutations.

In our neurotechnology and neuromodulation research, we partner with engineers from academia and industry to improve devices for epilepsy diagnosis and treatment. We are developing safer and more effective electrodes for epilepsy surgery and studying how high-resolution neural signals can more accurately map seizure networks. We study how the brain weaves and stores memories, and how these processes are disrupted in some epilepsy patients. In collaboration with the Neuroscience Institute, we study how neurostimulation—transcranial electrical stimulation, acoustic stimulation, and direct electrical stimulation—may help restore and enhance key rhythms to support memory function in epilepsy. Our faculty are also exploring the use of novel seizure detection devices, such as the Epitel Epilog EEG patch, to reduce the risk of seizure-related injury and death.

Our neuroimaging program investigates how brain structure and function are affected in epilepsy. Advanced imaging methods, including 7T MRI, help disentangle local and network-level brain changes. Advanced statistical modeling techniques have identified subtle brain changes in epilepsy that were previously undiagnosed. We also study the use of novel imaging methodologies including TSPO-PET MRI to characterize neuroinflammation driven by autoimmune epilepsy.

Learn more about our active translational studies.