Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Theme 3: Plasticity and Memory


Donders-PLASTICITY-MEMORY-screen thema 3Goal is to understand various types of neuroplastic changes in the brain in patients, e.g. with chronic pain and in animal models for epilepsy and epileptogenesis.

In patients it are mainly the changes that accompany the chronification of pain. In longitudinal studies brain states of chronic pain patients before and during treatment are quantified using multi-channel EEGs in combination with (neuro)-psychological tests. The clinical outcomes are correlated to the EEGs and outcomes of neuropsychological tests in order to understand mechanisms related to the chronification.

In rats the development of idiopathic generalized epilepsy is studied: young rats don’t, older rats have all symptoms. This research line is guided by a challenging new theory developed by us, the cortical focus theory. The theory is currently also tested in patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsy in collaboration with Epilepsy Center Kempenhaeghe. In addition, network analyses aimed in understanding the dynamics of cortico-thalamo-cortical interactions, early endogenous and exogenous modulatory effects and the role of metabotropic glutamate receptors (in collaboration with Neuromed, Pozzili) on seizures is currently focussed upon.

Experimental new treatment strategies for e.g. antiepileptogenesis, various types of deep brain stimulation (DBS), neurofeedback and non-invasive transcranial electrical stimulation studies are developed for this but also for other seizure models.

Name: Gilles van Luijtelaar
Telephone: 024-3612544
Fax: 024-3616066
Visiting address: Donders Centre for Cognition
Montessorilaan 3
6525 HR Nijmegen
The Netherlands
Postal address: Donders Centre for Cognition
P.O. Box 9104
6500 HE Nijmegen
The Netherlands
Key grants and prizes
  • Solvay: proepileptic effects of SLVXXXX
  • DCC: Modulating brain activity
  • RUN-CISP: Endogenous and exogenous factors governing absence seizures
  • BrainGain: Brain-computer interface in a animal model of temporal lobe epilepsy
  • NWO: Phenotypic variance and the internal environment: early manipulation and consequences for later life
Key publications
  • Sarkisova, K., van Luijtelaar,G. The WAG/Rij strain: a genetic animal model of absence epilepsy with comorbidity of depression. Prog in Neuropsychopharmacology Biol Psychiatry, 35: 854-876, 2011
  • Van Rijn C, Meinardi H. Neurochemistry and epileptology. Epilepsia. 2009 Mar;50 Suppl 3: 17-29
  • Luttjohann A, Zhang S, de Peijper R, van Luijtelaar G. The Cortical Focus theory on Absence Epilepsy: Electrical stimulation studies., Neuroscience, 188: 125-134, 2011
  • Ngomba, RT, Santolini I, Salt T, Ferraguti F, Battaglia G, Nicoletti F, and van Luijtelaar G. Metabotropic glutamate receptors as potential targets for the treatment of absence epilepsy, review, Epilepsia, 52: 1211-1122, 2011
  • Jongsma ML, Postma SA, Souren P, Arns M, Gordon E, Vissers K, Wilder-Smith O, van Rijn CM, van Goor H. Neurodegenerative properties of chronic pain: cognitive decline in patients with chronic pancreatitis. PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e23363. Epub 2011 Aug 18


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Theme 3:
Plasticity and Memory

Research Group

Principal Investigator
Prof. E.L.J.M. van Luijtelaar

Group members

Senior researchers
Dr. Tineke van Rijn

Martin Perescis
Mehrnoush Zobeiri
Annika Lüttjohann
Magda Smyk
Lilu Huang
Casper van Heck
Magdalena Ferdek
Rustam Berdieva
Maria Pangiotou
Rachel Bootsma
Martijn van Hommerig
Bob de Ruiter
Lonneke Wijnhoven

Hans Krijnen
Saskia Menting-Hermeling