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Date: 2014-07-17
Georgian Professor of Stanford University about Unique Techniques for Treatment of Epilepsy


On June 15, Saakashvili Presidential Library hosted Professor from California University, who is successful Georgian scientist Tamar Paziashvili (Jeanne Paz). Her presentation was about innovative techniques and current researches for treatment of epilepsy. Tamar Paz (Paziashvili) was born in Tbilisi, in 1980. She graduated Lyceum named after Volter 2 years in advance, as an outstanding and talented student. Then studied at Marie and Pierre Curie University in Paris and got her doctoral degree at College de France. Since then in 2007 she left for  USA, to Stanford University for post-doctoral position and at the age of 33 she became assistant-professor at San Francisco and Stanford Universities. Currently she administers laboratory at Gladstones Institute. Laboratory is named after her (Paz Lab).


"Optogenetic deconstruction and control of neural circuits in epilepsy and sleep"  

Summary:  Neural interactions between cerebral cortex and thalamus mediate sensation, perception, and consciousness and generate rhythms associated with sleep and epilepsies. The causal roles of thalamus in the control of cortical rhythms has been controversial. To probe the role of thalamocortical neurons in cortical rhythmogenesis, we combined in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology and closed-loop optogenetic control of neural circuits in freely behaving rats and mice. Driving synchronized burst firing mode at 8-12 Hz of thalamic relay neurons was sufficient to drive cortical sleep-spindles, absence type seizures and loss of consciousness. Destabilizing thalamocortical output by reduction in firing with halorhodospin was sufficient to desynchronize cortical rhythms and abruptly terminate seizures in real time. These approaches provide a toolbox for reliable real-time control of thalamocortical rhythms of therapeutic interest for psychiatric and neurological disorders.

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