Cellular biology of epileptogenesis

Giuliano Avanzini, Silvana Franceschetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ionic currents that underlie the mechanisms of epileptogenesis have been systematically characterised in different experimental preparations. The recent elucidation of the molecular structures of most membrane channels and receptors has enabled structure-function analyses in both physiological and pathophysiological conditions. The neurophysiological and biomolecular features of epileptogenic mechanisms that putatively account for human epilepsies are summarised in this review. Particular emphasis is given to epilepsies that are associated with genetically determined alterations of ligand-gated and voltage-gated ion channels. Changes in ionic currents that flow through sodium, potassium, and calcium channels can lead to different types of epilepsies. Inherited or acquired changes that alter the function of receptors for acetylcholine, glutamate, and γ-aminobutryic acid are also involved. better understanding of the role of these epileptogenic mechanisms will promote new advances in the development of selective and targeted antiepileptic drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-42
Number of pages10
JournalThe Lancet Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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