Seminar "Mechanisms and therapies of neonatal and pediatric seizures" and "How does inhibition work in the brain?"

Welcome to the seminar of BioN in SPbU

The  seminar  consisting of the two parts will be held on Wednesday 21.12.2011 from 9.30 to 12.30 in Aud 90, Faculty of Biology and Soil Science of SPbU

Speaker: Kai Kaila, Ph.D., Professor,  Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, Finland



9:30-10:30 Lecture "Mechanisms and therapies of neonatal and pediatric seizures"

The mechanisms that cause seizures in human newborns and infants have been unknown until recently. Prof. Kai Kaila's team has shown that two epileptiform syndromes, birth asphyxia seizures and febrile seizures are triggered by an increase in brain pH. This information has made it possible to design novel strategies for seizure suppression based on suppressing the pathophysiological brain pH changes. It is widely known that current antieplieptic drugs such as pentobarbital are largely ineffective in neonates and infants. The novel evidence-based therapeutic strategies described by Kai Kaila in his talk are effective and easy to implement in the clinic with very low expenses.

10:30-10:45 Discussion

10:45-11:00 Break

11:00 Lecture "How does inhibition work in the brain? From Sechenov, Sherrington and Eccles to current views on the molecular bases of  GABAergic inhibition"

Neuronal inhibition in the brain was first identified by Ivan M. Sechenov (1863), and subsequently studied in the context of the integrative functions of the brain by Charles C. Sherrington. Sherrington also predicted how inhibition might work at the cellular level, and the mechanism he postulated (hyperpolarization of the target neuron) was verified by another Nobel Prize winner, John C. Eccles.Professor Kai Kaila's lecture will focus on the neuronal chloride transporter, KCC2, which was shown in original work by his laboratory to be responsible for the hyperpolarizing actions of GABA, the main inhibitory transmitter in the adult brain. More recently, it has turned out that KCC2 is not only a key molecule in neuronal inhibition, but it also plays a central role in functional and structural brain development, plasticity and disease.

12:00-13:00 Discussion

Please, also register here or send your contacts to Sergey Tugin: sertugin at