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Effect of air pollution on the occurrence of epileptic seizures in the experimental model of temporal lobe epilepsy

Grant number: 19/01378-3
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: August 01, 2019 - July 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology - Physiology of Organs and Systems
Principal Investigator:Maria José da Silva Fernandes
Grantee:Maria José da Silva Fernandes
Home Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:João Bosco Pesquero


Air pollution is considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a public health problem. Epidemiological studies have highlighted numerous diseases associated with exposure to air pollution, mainly respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Over the past 15 years, air pollution has been seen as a risk factor for neurological and psychiatric disorders, most notably Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, depression, autism and, more recently, epilepsy. Studies show an increase in the hospitalization of patients with epilepsy living in a polluted environment in Mexico, China and Chile. Fine and ultrafine particulate matter (MP <2.5 ¼m) suspended in air pollution is a major cause of CNS inflammation. Inflammation and decline in hippocampal neurogenesis are some of the factors responsible for the maintenance of seizures in TLE. It is not yet known what mechanisms are involved in the intensification of seizures due to exposure to pollution. The present project aims to reproduce the increase of epileptic seizures in rats subjected to the pilocarpine model (Pilo) after being exposed to environmental pollution, and to study the molecular mechanisms involved with worsening seizures. Processes such as inflammation and neurogenesis will be highlighted as factors involved in the generation of seizures and psychiatric comorbidities in TLE. (AU)