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During the past 8 weeks, I helped with the EEG project in the lab of Drs. Sutula, Rutecki and Kotloski. I learned about EEG recording and identification of seizures in animals, specifically how many develop seizures and epilepsy after TBI.
I got some training during the first week. First of all, I logged on the Research Animal Resources Center (RARC) and did the on-line Animal User Orientation course (Figure 1). I learned biomethodology of rat including housing and routine care, disease and prevention, handling and restraint, etc. Those knowledge gave me a basic idea of why we study rat and how I should handle it. The EEG tutorial (Figure 2) was also helpful. It was a comprehensive guide for EEG interpretation, which taught me EEG reading and the way to use EEG report form (Citrix). I was reading âVideo-EEG review protocol and instructionsâ (Figure 3) at the same time. It shows very specific examples of different types of EEGs (focal/generalized seizure, artifact, etc). The last step was to learn to give the rats injection. It was pretty challenging to me because I didnât want to hurt them. Fortunately, it wasnât my job to give them injection everyday.
My work was to bring rats from cages to the lab, observe their EEGs and review the recordings on Natus (Figure 4,5,6,7). Professor Levenick showed me how to use the lab camera recording system. He also showed me how the rats got epilepsy by surgery, which includes many steps and requires carefulness. It wasnât easy to identify seizures and behaviors at first, but I got more familiar with doing the annotations after reading the data with Professor Sutula for several times. Although there werenât many recorded seizures in the database, I still found both focal and generalized seizures. Some of them were with freezing behaviors, some with Class V, others with none behavior. Professor Kotloski gave us several lectures about epilepsy and introduced some treatments that patients are getting now.
It was a very good experience to me. I familiarized myself from the lab working. Also, the university lectures that I attended every week taught me so much things about neuroscience and neurology. I am very appreciated!