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Electrically guided transcranial stimulation of cells chemogenically primed for excitability a novel, non-invasive and cell type-specific approach

Principal Investigator:
  • Francis Bambico, Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Azrieli Foundation

Project Overview

I propose to test a new and potentially groundbreaking experimental technique called EC stimulation, which will enable researchers to influence the activity of different kinds of neurons in any part of the brain without the need of major brain invasive surgery or complex genetic techniques. This will be done by combining the use of a drug that acts directly on a type of ion channel called SK channels and a type of electrical stimulation called transcranial direct current stimulation. These can be combined so that only one kind of neuron and a small area of the brain are affected. Using a method called RNAscope in situ hybridization, I will verify if EC stimulation will indeed only stimulate one kind of neuron. I will also test whether this kind of stimulation will produce changes in neurotransmitters in other parts of the brain, and if this will produce observable changes in emotion-related behaviour. If successful, this will be the first time that such an easy-to-do but innovative and original technique can be developed, tested and used in the laboratory and potentially as a more economical and safer form of treatment for brain disorders.