Jong Rho, MDMD University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH
Areas of Research
The major goal of our laboratory is to elucidate the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the clinical anti-seizure effects of the ketogenic diet (KD), an effective non-pharmacological treatment for medically refractory epilepsy. We are also attempting to validate the neuroprotective (and potentially) disease-modifying effects of the KD. Recent published studies have focused on the antioxidant properties of ketone bodies – which are produced during KD treatment – and fatty acids (particularly, polyunsaturated fatty acids). Our laboratory utilizes state-of-the-art cellular in vitro electrophysiological techniques (i.e., single-channel and whole-cell patch-clamp, and IR-DIC slice recordings), combined with molecular-genetic approaches, behavioral assessments (e.g., continuous video-EEG monitoring, high-density multi-electrode recordings of brain slices, behavioral assays), and cellular fluorescence imaging. The principal animal model of epilepsy studied in our laboratory is the epileptic Kcna1-null mouse, which develops spontaneous recurrent seizures early in post-natal development. Additionally, our laboratory has recently been investigating pathophysiological mechanisms and therapeutic strategies (notably, metabolism-based) in animal models of autism spectrum disorder (specifically, the prenatal valproic acid rat model, and the BTBR mouse model).
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