The Effect of GABAergic Neuron Ablation on Seizure Frequency and Sleep Cycle Disruption in Mice
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Epilepsy is a common neurological condition, prevalent in about 3.8% of people in the U.S. and increasing exponentially, making it a key area of research (England et al, 2012). The primary goal of this research study is to analyze REM sleep cycle disruptions due to seizures resulting from GABAergic neuron ablation within CASpase (CAS) mouse models. This ablation is done by using two unilateral injections of AAV to induce cell death of GABAergic neurons, which are primary inhibitory neurons essential for suppressing hypersynchronous neural activity that underlies seizure activity. The results of this study are extremely important because sleep deprivation is known to be a trigger for spontaneous seizure activity and could be a contributor to worsening seizures in those patients with epilepsy. The results of this study can be used to find multifaceted treatments for both sleep disorders and seizure activity.