Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

J. Harry Blaise

Second Advisor

Luis Martinez


Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects about 1% of the global population. This debilitating condition is associated with overexcitation and ineffective inhibition of neuronal pathways in the brain causing serious and a diverse set of symptoms, most prominently seizures. While some antiepileptic drug (AED) regimes have been proven to be effective in treating this condition, there are many cases where the drugs do not do enough. The ketogenic diet (KD) has been used for decades as an effective anticonvulsant. Its powerful and natural processes result in some patients becoming seizure-free. Sometimes, these patients remain free of seizures even after returning to a normal diet. Kindling is a modern technique of training the brain to be more susceptible to synchronicity and therefore, seizures over time through the electrical or chemical stimulation of specific brain areas. The objective of this project is to assess whether a KD can prolong the development of major seizures in an electrically kindled rat model. Male Sprague-Dawley rats between 280 and 300 grams were used in this study. A stereotaxic surgery was performed to implant electrodes into the hippocampus and cortical regions. These brain regions were electrically stimulated daily according to an electrophysiological timeline until ten class five seizures were obtained. Although only one animal was successfully taken through the procedure, the results indicate a proof of concept and provide a foundation towards the integration of more animals in the future of the study.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford, CT for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience.