One of the goals of the research program in the LSU Health Department of Neurosurgery involves training in neurosciences research. In addition to receiving training in basic research, we continually contribute to ongoing research within the department as well as pending publications.
Neurosurgery residents are encouraged to participate in the graduate training for MS or PhD degrees. Graduate students in basic science departments are encouraged to study with faculties in the Department of Neurosurgery to investigate neurosurgical problems.
With unprecedented progress in the study of the brain in recent years, our Advanced Neuroimaging Lab provides state-of-the-art brain imaging that allows a first-time glimpse into the structure, functioning, and connectivity of the human and animal brain in both healthy and disease states.
The primary research interests of the Advanced Neuroimaging Lab follow two directions:
- We employ advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques which include diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and resting state functional MRI (rsfMRI) to study the impact of neurological diseases on brain networks; and
- We apply electrophysiological techniques such as optogenetics that enable us to study the epileptogenesis and mechanisms related to seizure disorders.
Through imaging studies, our researchers have developed computational techniques to investigate structural and functional connectivity abnormalities in patients with neurological disorders including traumatic brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, tumors, and epilepsy. These techniques allow the comparison of connectomes between patients and healthy controls. Our goal is to elucidate regional and global changes in structural and functional brain connectivity associated with various central nervous system (CNS) disorders.
With electrophysiological studies of epilepsy, we have employed techniques such as optogenetics and intracranial recording in murine models to study seizure generation and propagation with a goal is to further understand the pathophysiology of seizure disorders, which may, in turn, improve the treatment of epilepsy.