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Epilepsy Behav. 2004 Feb;5 Suppl 1:S35-44.

Do seizures cause irreversible cognitive damage? Evidence from animal studies.

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  • 1Epilepsy Research Laboratory, Department of Neurobiology, A. I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences, University of Kuopio, PO Box 1627, FIN-70211 Kuopio, Finland.


Data from experimental models provide evidence that both prolonged and brief seizures can cause irreversible impairment in spatial and emotional learning and memory. Factors related to the severity of the behavioral impairments include genetic background, age at the time of the epileptogenic insult, extent of brain lesion, location of seizure focus, seizure duration, seizure number, brain reserve, and environmental and social living conditions. Further, as in humans, the interval between the last seizure and behavioral testing as well as treatment with antiepileptic drugs can affect the test results.

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