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Pathophysiogenesis of Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy: Is Prevention of Damage Antiepileptogenic?

[ Vol. 21 , Issue. 6 ]


G. Curia, C. Lucchi, J. Vinet, F. Gualtieri, C. Marinelli, A. Torsello, L. Costantino and G. Biagini   Pages 663 - 688 ( 26 )


Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is frequently associated with hippocampal sclerosis, possibly caused by a primary brain injury that occurred a long time before the appearance of neurological symptoms. This type of epilepsy is characterized by refractoriness to drug treatment, so to require surgical resection of mesial temporal regions involved in seizure onset. Even this last therapeutic approach may fail in giving relief to patients. Although prevention of hippocampal damage and epileptogenesis after a primary event could be a key innovative approach to TLE, the lack of clear data on the pathophysiological mechanisms leading to TLE does not allow any rational therapy. Here we address the current knowledge on mechanisms supposed to be involved in epileptogenesis, as well as on the possible innovative treatments that may lead to a preventive approach. Besides loss of principal neurons and of specific interneurons, network rearrangement caused by axonal sprouting and neurogenesis are well known phenomena that are integrated by changes in receptor and channel functioning and modifications in other cellular components. In particular, a growing body of evidence from the study of animal models suggests that disruption of vascular and astrocytic components of the blood-brain barrier takes place in injured brain regions such as the hippocampus and piriform cortex. These events may be counteracted by drugs able to prevent damage to the vascular component, as in the case of the growth hormone secretagogue ghrelin and its analogues. A thoroughly investigation on these new pharmacological tools may lead to design effective preventive therapies.


Antiepileptic drug, astrocyte, blood-brain barrier, ghrelin, growth hormone secretagogue, hippocampus, mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, microglia, neuroinflammation, piriform cortex.


Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Metaboliche e Neuroscienze, Laboratorio di Epilettologia Sperimentale, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Via Campi, 287, 41125 Modena, Italy.

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