Doug Brumm

My research at the University of Missouri Saint Louis (CND) includes the pursuit of an understanding of neural dynamics during 4-AP induced seizures, in Sprague Dawley rats, while the cortex is being cooled at some focal point. Optical imaging techniques are then used (such as that of the IOS using green light (546nm) to realize changes in neural activity over broader areas of the cortex then are available using a single local field potential electrode (LFPE). The cooling procedure as it currently stands employs a small thin tube wire that is held atop the brain using micromanipulators and temperature changes are read using a thermocouple attached to the cooling wire. Cooled ethanol is ran through the wire during a seizure and through a secondary line (that does not go over the brain) when the brain is not seizing. The control of the cooling is operated by a program that takes samples of the EEG power spectrum during a specified window to determine a threshold, when the threshold is surpassed the cooling is induced. Preliminary data of IOS signals with green light during stimulation induced by a bi-polar electrode and cooled by means of the system above operated manually seemed to provide results that were in tune with the line of thinking that the spread of action potentials across the membrane can be reduced when the cortex is cooled. Future goals include getting this system to work effectively and autonomously while giving conclusive (IOS) evidence confirming 4-AP seizure reduction when the cortex is cooled to temperatures below the mean (33C) and above or around 20C.