Stress and Epilepsy: The role of the HPA axis in modulating brain network dynamics

Lead Research Organisation: University of Exeter
Department Name: Engineering Computer Science and Maths


Epilepsy is a very common condition, affecting nearly 1% of the UK population. When asking people with epilepsy to name precipitants of their seizures "stress" is the most commonly listed (by nearly 40% of those questioned). To explore this complex inter-relationship we will develop an integrated mathematical model of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis (the neuroendocrine system responsible for homeostatic regulation and the release of stress hormones), and a dynamic network model of the brain. The model, which will be a set of differential equations with delays, will be developed to advance our understanding of the role cortisol (a key stress hormone released by the adrenal glands) plays in modulating brain excitability and thus altering the susceptibility to seizures in people with epilepsy. This is an interdisciplinary project involving experimental and clinical collaborators at the University of Bristol and King's College London.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509656/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1786069 Studentship EP/N509656/1 01/10/2016 28/02/2021 Zoe Bright