Cortical versus thalamic mechanisms underlying spike and wave discharges in GAERS

G. Avanzini, M. De Curtis, S. Franceschetti, G. Sancini, R. Spreafico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Genetic absence epilepsy rats from Strasbourg (GAERS) have non-convulsive generalized seizures associated with spike-wave (SW) discharges, which are due to a hyperexcitable state of the thalamo-cortico-thalamic circuits involving the reticular thalamic nucleus (nRt). Investigation of the primary genetically-determined defect responsible for GAERS epilepsy revealed the following abnormalities: (1) increased effectiveness of AMPA receptors dependent glutamate-mediated transmission; (2) impairment of GABA-mediated transmission in the neocortex; (3) increased amplitude of the voltage-dependent low-threshold Ca2+-current (I(T)) in the nRt. The maturational profile of these abnormalities supports the conclusion that the abnormality in the I(T) current in the nRt is the primary genetically-determined defect, which may secondarily induce the other changes found in the neocortex and thalamus of GAERS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1996


  • idopathic epilepsy model
  • neocortex
  • rat
  • thalamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Cortical versus thalamic mechanisms underlying spike and wave discharges in GAERS'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this