Optogenetics and epilepsy: past, present and future

Epilepsy Curr. Jan-Feb 2015;15(1):34-8. doi: 10.5698/1535-7597-15.1.34.


The holy grail of epilepsy research is to understand the mechanisms underlying seizures so that patients with epilepsy can receive effective treatment or be cured, ideally with no significant side effects. Recent advances in neuroscience give such hope. Optogenetics is a modern neuroscience research tool that allows precise spatiotemporal control of defined cells and circuits and, thus, dissection of critical players and targeting them for responsive treatments. Here we review the state of the art of these approaches and their applications and implications in epilepsy research.