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Characterization of Seizure Suppression in Drosophila

  • Author(s): Howlett, Iris Christine
  • Advisor(s): Tanouye, Mark A
  • et al.
Abstract

Epilepsy and seizure disorders affect a large portion of the population. These disorders are complex in both cause and in phenotypic manifestation. Genetic factors have been shown to play a role in seizure sensitivity. Much research has been focused on the genetics underlying the mechanisms of seizure sensitivity and the development of

treatments for seizure disorders. Despite this, many questions remain unanswered. Using Drosophila as a genetic model for epilepsy and seizure disorders has given us some insight into the mechanisms of seizure susceptibility, particularly in suppression of

seizures. The following dissertation, details a forward genetics screen for suppressors of seizures in parabss1 and identification of gilgamesh (gish) as a voltage-gated sodium channel specific seizure suppressor mutant. Additionally, the utility of dorsal vessel injection of antiepileptic drugs is discussed in detail. Following discussion of these findings, future plans for the use of Drosophila as a genetic model for intractable epilepsies and discovery of additional seizure suppressor mutants are laid out. While many questions regarding the mechanisms of seizure suppression remain, this work and any future work from this point will help to unravel the complexities of epilepsy and seizure disorders.

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