AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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Electrical Synapses in the Brain Offer New Avenue for Epilepsy Research and Possible Treatment

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A child with absence epilepsy may be in the middle of doing something – she could be dancing, studying, talking – when all of a sudden she stares off into space for a few moments. Then, as quickly as she drifted off, the child snaps back into whatever she was doing, unaware hat the episode occurred. That brief moment of disconnect from reality is called an absence seizure, and according to the Epilepsy Society, childhood absence epilepsy accounts for 2 to 8 percent of all epilepsy diagnoses. Most cases of childhood absence epilepsy end after puberty, but about 30 percent of cases continue into adulthood or lead to other forms of epilepsy. In a study published in the Journal of Physiology, Coulon and his colleagues suggest that electrical signals directly exchanged between brain cells may hold promise as a potential target for absence epilepsy treatments. To read more, click here.

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