Preventing the onset of neurological disorders

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“During early life, the brain can create up to 1,000 neural connections in a second through an experience dependent manner. Seizures affect optimal brain function for the rest of life.”

Hongyu Sun, Assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Carleton University

Preventing the onset of neurological disorders

Carleton University’s Hongyu Sun, an assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience, is partnering with the Canada Research Chair in Developmental Neuroscience in seeking a better understanding of how seizures impact brain development during the first weeks of life.

When infants suffer seizures during critical periods of development, their brain chemistry can be permanently altered, impacting how neurons are able to organize themselves over the long term. It’s a lasting impairment that may be a root cause of some cases of autism and intellectual disability.

Through a series of behavioural tests, Sun will explore effects on cognitive ability, but the project goes further than that. It will explore how light waves could bring irregular patterns of brain activity back to normal, possibly preventing the onset of common neurological disorders.