Date of Award

Spring 2000

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Johnson, Roger H.

Second Advisor

Rand, Scott D.

Third Advisor

Ropella, Kristina


Science is progressive, continually building upon newly acquired knowledge, theories, and technology. It is the discoveries of yesterday, accepted or disputed as fact or theory today, that lead to the discoveries of tomorrow. From the quantum mechanical models of atomic nuclei to the vastness of the cosmos, our understanding of the world occurs on many different levels, having been brought about by advances in many diverse fields. Like most new science, new ideas and theories foster them, being realized by the merging of techniques, theories, and technology, some of which are invented or discovered along the way. This study (thesis) represents one such merging. Presented herein is the merging of such diverse fields as nuclear magnetic resonance, cellular metabolism, pharmacology and mathematics. The merging of these diverse fields is not unique, but was necessary to study the cerebral biochemical derangements following seizures in vivo. According to current theory, excessive neurotransmission characteristic of seizures, leads to a cascade of events resulting in neuronal injury and necrosis. Additionally, histological examination of excised epileptic foci has demonstrated marked neuronal loss. In this study, we present metabolic changes in cerebral metabolites involved in the proposed etiology of neuronal injury and necrosis following generalized seizures. Chapter 1 contains statements of the objectives and specific aims addressed during the various stages of the research, while Chapter 2 is a brief introduction to epilepsy, normal cerebral metabolism and nuclear magnetic resonance. Presented is a description of epileptic seizure types, findings from experimental and clinical research studies of epilepsy, the cellular and metabolic pathways within the central nervous system under normal physiologic conditions, as well as the physics of nuclear magnetic resonance as a biochemical assay. Chapter 3 is a description of the methodologies utilized in the study, including descriptions of the animal model, data processing and quantification methods, as well as the statistical methods used to analyze the results. Chapter 4 contains the results of the study, while Chapter 5 is the discussion of the methods used and the implications the results may have with respect to current theory. The discussion begins first with the limitations of the study, from the quantification algorithm to the animal model, and is followed by an interpretation of the results with respect to current theory.



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