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Front Integr Neurosci. 2014 Jan 3;7:104. doi: 10.3389/fnint.2013.00104.

Anterior Cingulate epilepsy: mechanisms and modulation.

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  • 1Graduate Institute of Life Science, National Defense Medical Center Taipei, Taiwan ; Institute of Biomedical Science, Academia Sinica Taipei, Taiwan.


Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder, about 1% population worldwide suffered from this disease. In 1989, the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) classified anterior cingulate epilepsy as a form of frontal lobe epilepsy (FLE). FLE is the second most common type of epilepsy. Previous clinical studies showed that FLE account an important cause in refractory epilepsy, therefore to find alternative approach to modulate FLE is very important. Basic research using animal models and brain slice have revealed some insights on the epileptogenesis and modulation of seizure in anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Interneurons play an important role in the synchronization of cingulate epilepsy. Research has shown that the epileptogenesis of seizure originated from mesial frontal lobe might be caused by a selective increase in nicotine-evoked γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) inhibition, because the application of the GABAA receptor antagonist picrotoxin inhibited epileptic discharges. Gap junctions are also involved in the regulation of cingulate epilepsy. Previous studies have shown that the application of gap junction blockers could attenuate ACC seizures, while gap junction opener could enhance them in an in vitro preparation. μ-Opioid receptors have been shown to be involved in the epileptic synchronization mechanism in ACC seizures in a brain slice preparation. Application of the μ-opioid agonist DAMGO significantly abolished the ictal discharges in a 4-aminopyridine induced electrographic seizure model in ACC. Basic research has also found that thalamic modulation has an inhibitory effect on ACC seizures. Studies have shown that the medial thalamus may be a target for deep brain stimulation to cure ACC seizures.


GABA antagonists; cingulate epilepsy; epileptogenesis; gap junction modulation; thalamus modulation

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