The developing brain is highly susceptible to seizures, as demonstrated by both human and animal studies. Until recently, the brain has been considered to be relatively resistant to damage induced by seizures early in life. Accumulating evidence in animal models now suggests that early seizures can cause structural and physiologic changes in developing neural circuits that result in permanent alterations in the balance between neuronal excitation and inhibition, deficits in cognitive function, and increased susceptibility to additional seizures. The disruption of normal neuronal activity by seizures can affect multiple developmental processes, resulting in these long-lasting changes. These data should be considered in the clinical approach to children with intractable epilepsy and suggest that early intervention may avoid some of these long-term neurologic deficits. Copyright (C) 2000 by W.B. Saunders Company.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology