Epilepsy is a devastating neurological disorder characterized by synchronous neuronal activity, which manifests as epileptic seizures. It usually develops after an initial insult, such as head trauma or stroke, which triggers the epileptogenic process. During epileptogenesis, the affected brain regions undergo multiple changes in connectivity and gene expression, and among the most affected genes are those responsible for network inhibition. Recent developments in gene editing technologies, after the discovery and application of the bacteria-derived CRISPR-Cas9 system, have opened new avenues for gene therapy. In particular, the possibility of developing a reversible and precise regulatory system for endogenous genes with high spatio-temporal control, overcomes several limitations of the classic gene therapy approaches. My group's research aims to apply an inducible gene modulation technology, based on guide RNAs and a catalytically inactive Cas9, targeting the expression of epileptogenic genes.
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