Pathogenesis of epilepsy: the role of excitatory amino acids

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The clinical and electroencephalographic features of seizures in children differ considerably from those in adults. Recently there has been an increased interest in the biological basis for the unique clinical and electroencephalographic features of childhood epilepsy. It is now clear that studies in adult animals can not be extrapolated to the immature animal.


Excitatory amino acids bind to several types of receptors in synapses in the brain. Overexcitation of these receptors causes seizures in experimental animals, and experimental agents can block these receptors. However, we will have to be cautious about developing these agents as an-tiepileptic drugs, since excitatory amino acids and their receptors are involved in brain plasticity and learning in children.



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