Mechanisms of epileptogenicity in cortical dysplasias

Imad Najm, Z. Ying, T. Babb, P. B. Crino, R. Macdonald, G. W. Mathern, R. Spreafico

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Cortical dysplasias (CDs) increasingly are recognized as pathologic substrates in patients with medically intractable epilepsy. Several studies have demonstrated the intrinsic epileptogenicity of these lesions, but the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for seizure initiation remain unknown. The increased availability of surgically resected neocortical tissue has provided the opportunity for direct histopathologic and electrocorticographic correlations. Moreover, the description of various animal models of CDs allowed the testing of various mechanistic hypotheses. It is likely that the mechanisms of epileptogenicity in CDs are multifactorial. In this article, the authors summarize current knowledge of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of epileptogenicity in focal CDs based on human and animal data. In particular, they focus on the roles of glutamate (NMDA and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid) and γ-aminobutyric acid receptors identified in animal models and resected human neocortex.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number6 SUPPL. 3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 23 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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