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M Bruce MacIver

M Bruce MacIver maciver
Personal bio
The long-term goal of our research is to provide physiological background information required for the rational design of safer and more effective anesthetics and analgesics. _____ Hippocampal Research: We investigate the cellular, synaptic and molecular mechanisms of action of central nervous system drugs; especially barbiturates, opiates, anesthetics and other CNS depressants. Electrophysiological recording techniques and selective pharmacological probes are used to investigate the sites and mechanisms of action for CNS depressants. Most of our studies focus on the CA 1 area in rat hippocampal brain slices. Neurons in this brain area are depressed by anesthetics through a combination of pre- and postsynaptic actions on glutamate and GABA mediated neurotransmission. _____ Theta Research: The effects of pharmacological agents on EEG waves generated by the neocortex are also being examined. EEG theta activity (4 to 12 Hz) is one of many rhythms, like alpha and delta (slow wave sleep) rhythms that are altered by anesthetics. Patch clamp and electrophysiological recording techniques are used to look at the effects of anesthetics on neurochemically-induced theta activity in neocortical brain slices. Anesthetic effects on brain slice micro-EEG activity are correlated to EEG effects seen in animals and humans during anesthesia. Effects on micro-EEG theta activity were shown to involve actions at GABA and glutamate synapses.

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