Outcome of status epilepticus. What do we learn from animal data?

Epileptic Disord. 2014 Oct:16 Spec No 1:S37-43. doi: 10.1684/epd.2014.0670.


Status Epilepticus (SE) is a life-threatening neurologic disorder defined as 5 minutes or more of a continuous seizure. SE can represent an exacerbation of a preexisting seizure disorder, the initial manifestation of a seizure disorder, or an insult other than a seizure disorder. In humans, there are several differences between SE that occurs in adults and children. In adult patients, the mortality is high but the incidence is lower than in childhood. Experimental studies have been essential in helping clinicians describe SE, and since these early initial studies, further experimental studies have helped us to better understand the consequences of SE. Animal models of SE support the notion that SE induces brain damage and contribute to epileptogenesis. Laboratory models of SE in developing animals demonstrate age- and model-dependent propensity for brain injury and for epileptogenesis. The use of models with a double hit including a clinical relevant component to seizures provides data that allows us to further understand the contribution of early-life events in the future development of epilepsy. Using this approach, it has been shown that inflammation or a preexisting brain lesion enhance epileptogenesis in the developing brain. The use of models of SE also permits to establish that treatment to stop the seizure and/or the duration of the SE results in a decrease of SE induced cell injury. Preventing epileptogenesis remains an important goal to modify the development of comorbidities, and it still represents an area of research in need of much progress.

Keywords: animal model; seizure; status epilepticus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Injuries / etiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Susceptibility / physiopathology
  • Epilepsy / etiology
  • Status Epilepticus / complications*