Skip to main content

Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Celebrating 75 Years! Learn More >>

NIMH-UCL Graduate Neuroscience Program

John Duncan & William Theodore Collaboration

Title: Cerebral plasticity in temporal lobe epilepsy and after temporal lobe resection.

UCL supervisors: John Duncan, M.D.   and Matthias Koepp, M.D. , UCL Institute of Neurology
NIH supervisors: William H. Theodore, M.D.  and William Gaillard, M.D., Clinical Epilepsy Section, NINDS


Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common form of refractory epilepsy that is amenable to surgical treatment. TLE is associated with disturbances of cognitive function and emotional status, and profound structural and functional alterations in cerebral organization. Functional MRI (fMRI) and Diffusion Tensor Tractography (DTT) are powerful tools to investigate functional re-organization in the brain, and the hard-wired basis of these changes.


Our laboratories use state of the art fMRI and DTT to visualize the functional anatomy of cognitive functions relating to aspects of memory, language, mood/emotion and executive function in healthy controls and TLE patients prior to and following anterior temporal lobe resection. While both laboratories use fMRI, the UCL laboratory has previously focused on DTT and memory and emotion, mainly in adults, while the NIH laboratory has previously focused on language, mainly in children. Repeated studies after surgery will be used to evaluate the post-operative changes and their time course and their relation to changes in cognitive and affective status. In addition to illuminating the effects of TLE and its surgical treatment, these studies will form an ideal model for investigating cerebral changes following brain injury.

Contact details:
John Duncan, M.D. -
Matthias Koepp, M.D. -
William H. Theodore, M.D. -
William Gaillard, M.D. -