Complex metabolically demanding sensory processing in the olfactory system: implications for epilepsy

Epilepsy Behav. 2014 Sep;38:37-42. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2013.08.036. Epub 2013 Oct 7.


Although the olfactory system is not generally associated with seizures, sharp application of odor eliciting activity in a large number of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) has been shown to elicit seizures. This is most likely due to increased ictal activity in the anterior piriform cortex-an area of the olfactory system that has limited GABAergic interneuron inhibition of pyramidal output cell activity. Such hyperexcitability in a well-characterized and highly accessible system makes olfaction a potentially powerful model system to examine epileptogenesis.

Keywords: Epilepsy; Olfaction; Olfactory bulb; Piriform.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epilepsy / metabolism
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • GABAergic Neurons / metabolism*
  • Olfactory Bulb / metabolism
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiopathology*
  • Olfactory Perception / physiology*
  • Piriform Cortex / metabolism
  • Piriform Cortex / physiopathology*