Stress and Seizures: Space, Time and Hippocampal Circuits

Trends Neurosci. 2017 Nov;40(11):667-679. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2017.08.004. Epub 2017 Sep 12.


Stress is a major trigger of seizures in people with epilepsy. Exposure to stress results in the release of several stress mediators throughout the brain, including the hippocampus, a region sensitive to stress and prone to seizures. Stress mediators interact with their respective receptors to produce distinct effects on the excitability of hippocampal neurons and networks. Crucially, these stress mediators and their actions exhibit unique spatiotemporal profiles, generating a complex combinatorial output with time- and space-dependent effects on hippocampal network excitability and seizure generation.

Keywords: corticosterone; corticotropin-releasing hormone; cortisol; epilepsy; hippocampus; network; neurosteroid; seizure; stress.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Neural Pathways / physiopathology
  • Seizures / physiopathology*
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology*