Recent research is challenging the traditional definition of epilepsy as an expression of increased excitability and firing of a group of neurons. This has major implications for clinical treatment.
Departments, Centers, & Programs:
15 Parkman Street
Boston, MA 02114-3117
- MD, PhD, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
- Residency, Brigham and Women's Hospital
American Board Certifications
- Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
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The focus of Dr. Cash's lab is on trying to understand how the brain works under both normal and pathological conditions with an ultimate goal of developing techniques for diagnosing and treating some of the most devastating diseases. We are particularly focused on using approaches which extract information at multiple scales and then combine them into a more complete and meaningful understanding of brain physiology. We feel this multi-scalar, multi-modal approach is particularly powerful for understanding the human brain because of its complexity and architecture which is, by nature, multi-scalar.
We employ non-invasive measures of brain activity (MEG, EEG, fMRI) and structure (MRI) to get a holistic view of the brain. We also use very specialized methods of recording directly from either human or rodent cortex including techniques to record the activity of single human neurons while patients are awake (microelectrode recordings) and optogenetic methods to control individual neurons. Our projects are focused on understanding four core, but overlapping, areas:
1. Normal cognition
2. The physiology and importance of sleep and dreaming
3. The basic physiology of cortical and subcortical oscillations
4. Controlling seizures
Long-range goals include the development of new methods for identifying seizure areas, predicting seizures and then stopping them. We are also using these techniques to move toward new ways of interacting directly with the human nervous system for diagnosis and repair or replacement (neuroprosthetics and brain-computer interfaces) of damaged nervous system tissue.
- Jul | 9 | 2015
21st Century Docs: MGH Neurotechnology Trials Unit Brings New Tools to Bear on Neurological Diseases
In the last two decades, advances in the ability to image the living, working brain, and record from or stimulate neurons in vivo have revolutionized neuroscience research.
- Sep | 2 | 2019
The Global Neurology Research Group has created a multilingual coloring book to explain epilepsy to children around the world and reduce myths and stigma surrounding seizure disorders.