Epilepsy and malformations of the cerebral cortex

R. Guerrini, R. Canapicchi, W. B. Dobyns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abnormal cortical development is increasingly recognized as a cause of human epilepsy. Development of the cerebral cortex involves three distinct but overlapping processes consisting of neuronal and later glial proliferation, neuronal migration and cortical organization. Cortical malformations can originate from abnormalities of any or all of these processes. Certain malformations are known to be genetically determined, while for others a genetic origin has been hypothesized. In addition, there are some that may be linked to prenatal insult. Some malformations are notably more epileptogenic than others. In specific forms, epileptogenesis appears to originate from intrinsic properties of the dysplastic tissue, and is stereotyped in expression. Cortical malformations are also known that are affected by age-related influence and may be accompanied by different epileptic syndromes, sometimes with good long-term outcome. In patients with intractable seizures which are symptomatic of a cortical malformations it is necessary to diagnose the type of malformation and the associated epileptic syndromes and to assess the characteristics of epileptogenesis. Planning of surgical treatment of the associated epilepsy must rely on careful evaluation of all these informations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-47
Number of pages16
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Cortical dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • X-linked

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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