Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common form of epilepsy in adults. TLE is characterised by seizures that originate within a structure of the brain known as the hippocampal formation, which includes the hippocampus. This network plays a crucial role in memory, spatial awareness, and the control of attention.
TLE is extremely difficult to treat with existing antiepileptic drugs, and surgical methods are often neither appropriate nor effective. Epilepsy Research UK is funding a project led by Dr Alfredo Gonzalez to research the use of optogenetics to block seizures in temporal lobe epilepsy. Optogenetics is a cutting-edge technique, which allows researchers to control the activity of specific sets of neurons using light. You can find out more about optogenetics and how it works in Dr Gonzalez’s Research Blog here.