Brain injuries can set up an epileptogenic neuronal network

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2021 Oct;129:351-366. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.08.003. Epub 2021 Aug 9.


Development of epilepsy or epileptogenesis promotes recurrent seizures. As of today, there are no effective prophylactic therapies to prevent the onset of epilepsy. Contributing to this deficiency of preventive therapy is the lack of clarity in fundamental neurobiological mechanisms underlying epileptogenesis and lack of reliable biomarkers to identify patients at risk for developing epilepsy. This limits the development of prophylactic therapies in epilepsy. Here, neural network dysfunctions reflected by oscillopathies and microepileptiform activities, including neuronal hyperexcitability and hypersynchrony, drawn from both clinical and experimental epilepsy models, have been reviewed. This review suggests that epileptogenesis reflects a progressive and dynamic dysfunction of specific neuronal networks which recruit further interconnected groups of neurons, with this resultant pathological network mediating seizure occurrence, recurrence, and progression. In the future, combining spatial and temporal resolution of neuronal non-invasive recordings from patients at risk of developing epilepsy, together with analytics and computational tools, may contribute to determining whether the brain is undergoing epileptogenesis in asymptomatic patients following brain injury.

Keywords: Aberrant neuronal activity; Epileptogenesis; Hyperexcitability; Neuronal network oscillation; Seizures.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Brain
  • Brain Injuries*
  • Epilepsy*
  • Humans
  • Neurons
  • Seizures