Overview on Epilepsy
Bernard S. Chang, M.D. and Daniel H. Lowenstein, M.D., in their just published review highlight some of the prevailing ideas about epileptogenesis (Bernard S. Chang, M.D. and Daniel H. Lowenstein, M.D., Epilepsy, New England Journal of Medicine 349, 1247-1266 September 25, 2003)by presenting examples of epilepsy syndromes and theories of their mechanisms of origin.
Epilepsy is one of the most common neurologic problems worldwide. Approximately two million people in the United States have epilepsy, and 3% of persons in the general population will have epilepsy at some point in their lives. In recent years, important advances have been made in the diagnosis and treatment of seizure disorders. However, our understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which epilepsy develops, or epileptogenesis, is still incomplete. The authors describe the known mechanisms of the disease for Absence Epilepsy, Generalized Epilepsies Associated with Ion-Channel Mutations and Mesial Temporal-Lobe Epilepsy. Moreover they explore newer areas of research: cortical malformations and the role of glial cells.