Dr. Helen Scharfman in Center for Dementia Research was awarded R01 grant by National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

New York – The grant, titled “The Role of CA2 in Epilepsy and Social Comorbidity,” is about a small part of the brain area CA2 of the hippocampus. There is already data which have led to the hypothesis that CA2 is a control point for seizures, meaning it can stop seizures, potentially. The project uses new techniques to address this hypothesis. Specifically, DREADD technology is used in mouse models of epilepsy to selectively silence the neurons in CA2. Dr. Scharfman will test the hypothesis that silencing CA2 can stop seizures. CA2 is also an area that normally supports memory, especially social memory. Since memory and social behavior can be altered in people with epilepsy, so-called comorbidities, the experiments will also address if silencing CA2 in mice with epilepsy can correct the comorbidities.