Effect of ROS on neurovascular decoupling in epilepsy

In order for the brain to function well, it is important that blood vessels within the brain are healthy. In a healthy brain, these blood vessels can become larger and smaller when necessary, but this is no longer possible after epileptic seizures. An important group of compounds that regulate the size of blood vessels is ROS, but too much ROS is unhealthy for the brain. Therefore, we believe that too much ROS is produced during epileptic seizures. Luckily, the brain also contains antioxidants, which can normally clear the brain from ROS, but possibly not enough during epilepsy. In our project, we investigate if ROS indeed has a central role in disturbing blood vessels. We are able to look at blood vessels in the brain using a microscope and we can mimic epileptic seizures as well. Then we aim to prevent too much ROS production by delivering antioxidants to the brain, so that the brain blood vessels stay healthy.

Gerben van Hameren
Faculty Supervisor: 
Victor Rafuse
Nova Scotia
Partner University: