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Our laboratory focuses on two debilitating – and possibly related – diseases: epilepsy and autism. Epilepsy is the most common disease associated with autism, so it is likely that the two disorders share common etiologies. Unfortunately, medical research has yet to produce preventatives or cures for either disease. Our research seeks to understand the basic mechanisms behind the development of these diseases. By understanding the building blocks of the diseases, we hope to develop new and more effective treatments for them.
Diseases affecting the developing brain are some of the most devastating, and difficult to treat, pediatric ailments. Many of these diseases are hard to diagnose, lack effective treatments and become more severe with time. Making matters worse, developing neurons are extremely vulnerable cells. Their growth can be disrupted directly by the disease, secondarily as normal brain regions suffer from abnormal activity in the affected brain region, and even as an unwanted side effect from medications for symptoms such as seizures.
One brain region that is particularly vulnerable is the hippocampal dentate gyrus. These neurons are among the last to be generated in the brain, and are one of the few populations of neurons produced in the adult brain. Our research focuses on the effects of epilepsy and autism on this brain region, and investigates the role aberrant cells in this region may play in the development of epilepsy.
Jiang Y, Pun RY, Peariso K, Holland KD, Lian Q, Danzer SC. Olfactory Bulbectomy Leads to the Development of Epilepsy in Mice. PLoS One. 2015 Sep 14;10(9):e0138178.
Hester MS, Danzer SC. Hippocampal granule cell pathology in epilepsy - a possible structural basis for comorbidities of epilepsy? Epilepsy Behav. 2014 Sep;38:105-16.
Deng M, Hofacer RD, Jiang C, Joseph B, Hughes EA, Jia B, Danzer SC, Loepke AW. Brain regional vulnerability to anaesthesia-induced neuroapoptosis shifts with age at exposure and extends into adulthood for some regions. Br J Anaesth. 2014 Sep;113(3):443-51.
LaSarge CL, Danzer SC. Mechanisms regulating neuronal excitability and seizure development following mTOR pathway hyperactivation. Front Mol Neurosci. 2014 Mar 14;7:18.
Singh SP, He XP, McNamara JO, Danzer SC. Morphological changes among hippocampal dentate granule cells exposed to early kindling-epileptogenesis. Hippocampus. 2013 Dec;23(12):1309-20.
Hofacer RD, Deng M, Ward CG, Joseph B, Hughes EA, Jiang C, Danzer SC, Loepke AW. Cell age-specific vulnerability of neurons to anesthetic toxicity. Ann Neurol. 2013 Jun;73(6):695-704.
Hester MS, Danzer SC. Accumulation of abnormal adult-generated hippocampal granule cells predicts seizure frequency and severity. J Neurosci. 2013 May 22;33(21):8926-36. (Journal Cover)
Istaphanous GK, Ward CG, Nan X, Hughes EA, McCann JC, McAuliffe JJ, Danzer SC, Loepke AW. Characterization and quantification of isoflurane-induced developmental apoptotic cell death in mouse cerebral cortex. Anesth Analg. 2013 Apr;116(4):845-54.
Murphy BL, Danzer SC. Somatic translocation: a novel mechanism of granule cell dendritic dysmorphogenesis and dispersion. J Neurosci. 2011 Feb 23;31(8):2959-64.
Murphy BL, Pun RY, Yin H, Faulkner CR, Loepke AW, Danzer SC. Heterogeneous integration of adult-generated granule cells into the epileptic brain. J Neurosci. 2011 Jan 5;31(1):105-17.
Walter C, Murphy BL, Pun RYK, Spieles-Engemann AL, Danzer SC. Pilocarpine-induced seizures cause selective time-dependent changes to adult-generated hippocampal dentate granule cells. J Neurosci. 2007 Jul 11;27(28):7541-52.
Read more about how the Danzer Lab’s research into neuron development in the brain’s hippocampus region may lead to safer treatment options for children and adults with epilepsy.
Steve Danzer, PhDAssociate ProfessorUC Department of Anesthesiology
Member, Division of AnesthesiaCincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Mailing Address:Division of Anesthesia3333 Burnet Ave. MLC 2001 Cincinnati, OH 45229
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