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EEC 2022 | Hippocampal area CA2 as a novel therapeutic target in epilepsy

Christos Lisgaras, PhD, NYU Langone Health and The Nathan S. Kline Institute Center for Dementia Research, New York, NY, discusses a project investigating the role of the CA2 area of the hippocampus in epilepsy. Many areas of hippocampus are damaged in epilepsy but the CA2 area remains intact, resistant to cell death. The project involved selectively inhibiting CA2 pyramidal neurons using closed loop optogenetics during seizures in mouse models of temporal lobe epilepsy. It was found that when CA2 was inhibited, the seizures were less severe (i.e., the duration of seizures was halved and convulsions were reduced). A step further was to inhibit CA2 neurons during high frequency oscillations (HFOs) occurring in slow-wave sleep. CA2 area inhibition was able to stop HFOs from occurring. The next step is to observe whether CA2 inhibition has beneficial effects on memory in animal models. This interview took place at the 14th European Epilepsy Congress (EEC) 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland.